ATG have learnt that the strong prices for precious metals on the commodities market has meant some dealers have started selling silver and gold antiques as scrap.

By Friday, gold had reached a new 26-year high, silver a 26-year high and platinum an all-time high, as the table opposite shows.

After a 14 per cent overnight fall on April 20, silver has now recovered and its scrap value offered at Michael Bloomstein Precious Metals of Brighton is currently £6.20 per ounce.

Mr Bloomstein, who supplies ATG weekly price listings, said a number of antiques dealers had sold him items of stock for scrap. He has also received a large number of pre-1947 coins (with a 50 per cent silver content) and pre-1920s coins (with a 92.5 per cent silver content) in particular – an old two-shilling silver coin is now worth about £1 as scrap.

“We’ve got a lot of coins coming in, but we’re also seeing some wonderful quality silver antiques,” said Mr Bloomstein. “It’s mainly post-1930s silver salvers and teasets, the kind of thing dealers are struggling to sell at over £5 an ounce. We’re also seeing some Georgian flatware, knives, spoons, forks, and especially items that are patched-up, leady or with rubbed marks.”
By Alex Capon