You can't pore over auction records and price guides for values if you don't know exactly what you have and who made it. The Internet offers a wealth of information on sterling silver and silver plated wares to assist you in your research tasks. Here are some of the best spots online to research silver origins, craftsmen and manufacturers, along with a few online value guides to help you get started, too:
- Morphy Auctions
Use these illustrated online price guides to help you identify and value sterling silver antiques, silver plated collectible wares, and vintage sterling silver jewelry. These resources are compiled and updated by your expert guide to antiques for About.com using completed auction results.
Unknown Mystery Mark Per www.925-1000.com
An extensive resource for researching silver marks, hallmarks, trademarks & maker's marks on old silver from around the world, especially those used on vintage and antique sterling and coin silver. Also has a section of silverplate marks.
If you're sure your piece is American made, this is the place to start your research. This collection of American manufacturers and retailers of sterling silver, coin silver and silver plate marks are listed alphabetically by manufacturer.
A useful introduction to silver hallmarks used on antique and vintage jewelry from around the globe.
- Pamela Wiggins
A good resource for researching antique flatware and serving pieces in sterling silver by Gorham Whiting, Towle, Dominick & Haff, Reed and Barton, R. Blackinton & Co., Tiffany, Unger Bros. and Wallace.
Although this reference is through a genealogy Web site, it serves as an aid in identifying the work of various silversmiths who marked their wares with initials only. The marks are grouped alphabetically by first letter and each is hyperlinked to the maker's pedigree page, if you want to learn more about the lineage.
A good resource for researching antique and discontinued silverplate flatware and serving piece patterns made by manufacturers such as 1847 Rogers Bros., Community Plate, Oneida, Wm. Rogers, Wm. A. Rogers, Holmes & Edwards, 1881 Rogers along with others.
A site to help you decipher English, Irish and Scottish Silver marks. Good reading if you're just beginning to research a silver piece and you're not sure of its origin.