I know, it was Ms. Scarlet in the Kitchen with the Candlestick! Oh wait, we aren’t playing the board game “CLUE”. My love of games almost got the best of me. Thank goodness I remembered why I’m writing this blog post…it is so YOU get the best of me.
Here’s the scoop about the weighted sterling silver candlestick.
I finally found it again the other day. I misplaced it in a box. I wanted to include it in my book “Cheap Gold and Silver”, but I couldn’t find it anywhere until a few days ago. Oh well, this makes for a perfect blog post.
The Sterling Weighted mark on the bottom of a candlestick holder.
Here’s the paragraph from the book (where I wanted to include this story and picture):
"If you ever see the term “weighted” used with a sterling silver mark, it means the item (a candlestick holder, bowl, cup, etc.) contains a filler material to give it additional strength and stability. The inside filler is usually concrete, wax, plaster, or steel rods so when you pick the item up it will be heavy. Refineries don’t usually take the item until the filler has been removed. Be careful if you decide to remove the filler yourself as it can be dangerous to open a metal object; it requires using tools that can injure you. After it is removed you can determine the actual silver content value and sell it to a precious metal buyer."
Here's a picture of the Weighted Sterling Silver Candlestick Holder. The red arrow is pointing to a dent. I paid fifty cents for it. At that price, I didn't care about the dent, I was after the sterling silver content.
I picked this dented candlestick up at a yard sale one morning. It looked like silver to me, so I flipped it over to search for a mark. Much to my delight, I read “sterling weighted”. When I turned it back over and read fifty cents on the price tag, it was coming home with me. I knew there was more than fifty cents worth of sterling silver in the candlestick holder (even with it weighted with some filler material). This holder has a bunch of dents on it and I bet that is why the seller put a fifty cent price tag on it. I don’t care about the dents, after all I’m buying it for the sterling silver. I’m not buying it to display in my living room. When the silver is melted down, there won’t be any dents, so don’t let dents prevent you from buying sterling silver items. Heck, it might make them a real deal.
Here’s another reason why you want to pay attention to the word “weighted”. You don’t want to pay a huge price for the item thinking the entire weight of the piece is solid sterling silver. Here’s what I mean using numbers. This candlestick weighs 256.4 grams (including the filler material), which would total $259.03 in silver. You might think you are getting a bargain paying $40 for it. However, this is NOT the case. Once you take the filler material out of the item, you are left with a sterling silver shell, which weighs a lot less. I took the sterling silver base off the candlestick, so you get an idea (see the picture below). This shell of the base weighs 8 grams, which equals $8.08. Now, if you weigh the rest of the candlestick shell, you would get maybe triple that weight if you are lucky. (I’m guessing here, because I don’t want to remove all that filler material). The silver scrap price would probably be somewhere around $40, so you really would be paying close to the spot price for silver. it wouldn’t be a huge bargain.
Here is the filler material inside the weighted sterling silver candlestick, when I removed the base.
However, I bought the entire candlestick for fifty cents, so it was a bargain for me. The base alone is already worth more than I paid for the whole piece.
Now you know about weighted objects and their filler material, so you’ll be able to spot the bargains.
Good Luck and Happy Hunting,
~Vicki Priebe Author of “Cheap Gold and Silver”