To sell sterling silver you have to decide whether it is more valuable intact, or if you just want the scrap price for it. Undamaged pieces can be very valuable as is...even if there is some slight damage. Broken or heavily damaged silver pieces are really only worth their scrap weight. But what if the silver is weighted...like a candlestick, or a compote? To get an accurate scrap weight you will have to take the sterling silver item apart. Here's how.
Scour the internet to determine if your sterling silver item is more valuable sold as it is. A good place to look is on eBay's completed listings, Rubylane and other sites that sell antique sterling silver. A piece that is highly decorative, very old or by a famous maker could be quite valuable, even if it has some damage. Do the research before you decide to scrap it.
Scrap the sterling silver if it is broken or very damaged. To do this you will have to remove the weighted material in the piece.
Cut into the bottom of the sterling silver item with the box cutter. Do this very carefully, cutting away from you to reduce the chance of injury, if the blade should slip. Slice from one side to the other, and then do it again, making a cross.
Pry the silver up and away from the weighted material.
Cut from the bottom up the sides, using the snips. Make a long cut all the way up the side of the sterling silver piece.
Peel the sterling silver foil away from the weighted material, using the pliers, until the silver comes completely free. Work carefully, so you don't cut yourself on the sharp silver.
Weigh the sterling silver scrap on the scale. Take a picture of the weight read out if you are going to sell online. Buyers like to see the silver being weighed.
Sell the sterling silver scrap at a local jewelry shop, at an online silver buyer, or on eBay.