Tea sets made of sterling silver are valuable. The mark of “sterling” signifies 92.5% silver. The remaining 7.5% is copper or another base metal. The weight of a sterling silver tea set is a major element in determining its value. The value of a sterling tea set fluctuates due to the rise and fall of the price of silver. Silver is a volatile metal so it changes often. The current price of silver dictates the fair market value of a tea set.
Some sterling silver tea sets are extremely heavy. Heavier sets are more valuable than lighter sets because they contain more silver. In most cases, the value of a sterling tea set is not determined by age. Age is important for tea sets made in the 18th century or before. It is quite common to find a tea set made in the late 1800′s or early 1900′s. Sets made in the 18th century or earlier are rare. Rarity increases the value of a sterling tea set.
Tea sets made by Georg Jensen of Denmark carry a higher premium than silver value. It is important to note that Georg Jensen of USA is not the same as Georg Jensen of Denmark. Jensen silversmiths of Denmark created the highest quality of unique silver. Tiffany & Co. silver is not generally worth more than silver value. Refineries melt hundreds of Tiffany sets. This act devalues Tiffany silver. Sets made by Cartier or Buccellati are worth slightly more than silver value.
Silver sets fashioned by famous silversmiths are worth more than silver content. A silver set’s provenance will increase its resale value if proper documentation is available. Silver sets owned and used by kings or presidents are very valuable.