The first products of the Oneida company were a low-quality flatware but at the turn of the 20th century, high quality became a top priority. Today’s collectors of Oneida silver do so because it is considered among the best ever produced. The value of Oneida silver is determined by its pattern, whether it is a full service set or individual pieces, and by its age and condition. Antique and rare patterns in pristine condition have the highest value and full service sets are worth more than individual pieces.
Oneida silver is known for its high quality of metals and craftsmanship. There are currently more than 600 different patterns of Oneida silver and the company continues to design new patterns. Discontinued patterns have a higher value than current patterns because of the limited number of them in circulation.
The first high-quality pattern was the Avalon, introduced in 1901. The second pattern was the Flower du Luce pattern. Today these rank as highly valuable Oneida silver if they are in good condition.
Full Service vs. Single Pieces
A full service of Oneida silver is one place setting consisting of at least two forks, two spoons and one knife. Full service sets have a higher value than individual pieces; and a full service of eight or 12 place settings is more valuable than a single place setting. Single pieces can range in price from $10 to $135, while a full service set with 84 pieces can be valued at $1,000 or more.
Many collectors of Oneida silver collect a specific piece of flatware such as sugar spoons. Others collect rare pieces. Sugar spoons are valued between $10 and up; a rare piece may be valued at up to $500.
Discontinued patterns in excellent condition carry a higher value than more recent patterns. Oneida was one of the few silver companies to make Art Deco patterns. This makes the Deauville and Noblesse patterns particularly valuable. Especially rare patterns can run up to $500 or more for a single piece and well over $1,000 for a full service set.
Using the above criteria, general guidelines for judging the value of Oneida silver are full service sets have higher value than individual pieces; perfect condition is valued higher than well-worn pieces; and vintage is higher in value than newer pieces.
The value of Oneida silver changes with the market. No matter how much you think a piece is worth, it is ultimately only worth the price someone is willing to pay for it. The best way to determine the current value of Oneida silver is to check prices in catalog and online auction sites.
River Lin is an independent writer and consultant. With a Master's degree in teaching English as a second language from Ball State University. She lived in Japan for 15 years teaching and editing. Now based in the US, she works for a variety of clients. Published work can be found in print and online at various websites and goarticles.com.