How Much do Pawn Shops Pay for Silver?

February 15, 2020 - Jewelry & Luxury Items

The answer depends on the market and your unique piece.

How much a pawn shop will pay for silver is based on market fluctuations and your specific silver piece. We will discuss this in more detail below. If you don’t have time to read about how pawn shops price silver, we do have an immediate solution for you for pricing your silver.

The quickest way to find accurate market pricing for your specific silver jewelry or bullion is to use PawnGuru. We created PawnGuru to help pawners and sellers save time and get more cash in their pockets for their items.

If you need a quick answer, please follow the steps below to get real, immediate offers online from pawn shops in your local area for free and without leaving your home.

How Much Do Pawn Shops Pay for Silver: The Most Accurate Answer

Using PawnGuru will give you the most accurate answer to “how much do pawn shops pay for silver,” and will save you time and money.

How? PawnGuru does two things:

  1. Connects you online with pawn shops in your local area that are interested in buying your silver (not all pawn shops buy silver!)
  2. Gives you real, fast offers from local pawn shops for your specific silver piece

PawnGuru is the only space where you can do this, and better yet, it’s free.

How to Use PawnGuru

  1. Visit PawnGuru
  2. Create a free listing (upload a photo & detailed description of your silver, as well as your name, email address and phone number)
  3. Watch online offers roll in from your local pawn shops that take silver

Once you get your offers, if you see one you like, you can bring your silver into that pawn shop and get the cash for it. It’s that easy!

If you’re interested in reading more about how the market value of silver is determined and what will factor into the offer a pawn shop will give you, please continue reading.

How Pawn Shops Price Your Silver

The Open Market

Pawn shops, like many jewelry shops, price your silver based on the open market for silver, and then factor in conditions such as weight and purity. The open market determines pricing for silver using the following factors:

  1. Current events
  2. Currency fluctuations
  3. Market speculation
  4. Supply & demand

Fineness (Purity) & Weight

While karat is used for signifying the purity of gold, the “millesimal fineness system” is used for signifying the purity of silver. We will refer to this as Fineness or Purity throughout the remainder of the article.

Silver purity is expressed as a percentage. And since silver is priced by the ounce, that’s where weight comes into play.

Silver, like gold, is traded on the open market. This means that supply/demand, speculation and current events influence the price of silver. Silver is bought and sold 24/7/365, so the price of silver constantly fluctuates.

On top of this, a pawnbroker will try to turn a profit on your silver when they buy and resell it, just like jewelers do. The pawn shop will be looking to price your jewelry based on all the factors above, while trying to make some money off the sale.

Next, we are going to review how to determine the Fineness of your silver, the weight, and the current market value so you can see roughly how much your silver jewelry or bullion is worth.

How to Determine the Fineness (Purity) of your Silver

Because one of the factors in how much pawn shops pay for silver is the Finesses of the silver in your jewelry or bullion, you’ll need to know the Fineness of your silver. You determine this by checking the sides, insides or clasps of your jewelry.

If you are pricing out a bullion coin or bar, this information should be readily available on the bullion piece itself. You can also check the certificate that came with it.

Fineness Symbols (Silver Hallmarks) and What They Mean

The symbols on your silver will commonly read something along the lines of 800, 925, 958 or 999. These are called hallmarks and they represent the purity of your silver. The higher the number, the purer your silver is. This means that there is less of other non-silver metals mixed in with it, such as copper.

You may have never heard of the three-digit numbers before. They all are representative of the percentage of silver in your piece. Use the following as a common silver hallmark guide.

  • 800 or .800 = 80% silver
  • 925 or .925 = 92.5% silver
  • 958 or .958 = 95.8% silver
  • 999 or .999 =99.9% silver

Anything that is less than 999 silver is commonly a mixture of copper and silver.

This mixture is called an alloy. You can refer to sterling silver as an alloy, since it is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. Pure silver is very malleable, making it difficult to stay sturdy as jewelry without a hardening agent such as copper. Copper does not discolor silver, which is another reason for its popularity in creating an alloy.

How to Determine the Weight of your Silver

The weight of your silver is easy to determine. If you have bullion, it will be clearly stated on the piece or certificate. If you have jewelry, you just need a scale that weighs to a tenth of a gram.

If you have any embellishments on the jewelry such as stones or non-silver charms, you need to estimate how much those weigh and subtract it from the total weight of your jewelry piece. Once you have that number, you can move on to calculating how much your silver jewelry is worth.

How to Calculate the Value of Silver Based on Fineness, Weight & Market Value

To figure out how much pawn shops pay for silver jewelry, you can use Fineness, weight and market value to mimic what a pawnbroker would do to price it out.

You will need to know the weight of the silver portion of your jewelry, in grams (to the tenth of a gram). We reviewed this above.

You also need to figure out the Fineness. As we reviewed earlier, look at your jewelry carefully to find the hallmarks that we went over. Then, get the percentage that we listed next to the Fineness hallmark matching your piece.

Next, look up the current market value price of silver in grams.

Calculating the Value of your Silver

Here’s how to calculate approximately how much pawn shops will pay for your silver:

  1. Multiply the weight of your bullion or jewelry (just the silver part) by the percentage of silver that your Fineness symbol indicates. For example, let’s say your silver weighs 21.4 grams and that it is .925 (sterling silver). Since sterling silver is 92.5% silver, you would take .925 X 21.4. This leaves you with 19.79 grams of actual silver to work with.
  2. Multiply the grams of actual silver (19.79 in the example) by the current price of silver in grams.

As of the exact moment this post is being written, that is 19.79 X $0.58 = $11.45. In summary, on 2/13/17, a sterling silver jewelry piece weighing 21.4 grams is worth roughly $11.45.

If you see a store selling the same jewelry piece for more money, remember they are factoring in the labor costs required to make the jewelry. The above calculations are just based on the silver itself and you likely won’t get that exact price. It’s good to use as a reference, though.

When you take this same jewelry piece to a pawn shop, you can likely expect to get less than $11.45, since they need to make a profit. Keep in mind that pawn shops are businesses, and you need to remain respectful that they need to turn a profit in order to stay in business.

How to Determine the Right Time to Pawn Silver

Since silver prices fluctuate every day, it is wise to check the price of silver and historical prices on the day you intend to sell it. You can look at historical silver pricing charts and see for yourself.

The chart below shows historical silver pricing fluctuations from 2007 to 2017. Take a look at the past five years below that so you can see more granularly which months silver tends to rise and fall.

How Much do Pawn Shops Pay for Silver
Silver Prices the Last 10 Years. Source:

How Much do Pawn Shops Pay for Silver
Silver Prices the Last 5 Years. Source:

Next Steps

Now that we’ve answered your question “how much do pawn shops pay for silver,” sign up for PawnGuru for free to get real offers from pawn shops near you.

You might also be interested in reading about more pawning topics. Feel free to explore our suggested articles below!

David Stiebel
David Stiebel

David Stiebel is one of the cofounders of PawnGuru. David was educated at MIT, where he studied Math. He subsequently worked at Bain as a data scientist before starting PawnGuru in 2015. He started PawnGuru to build a better tool for pawn shops and consumers to connect.

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Avatar for Donna Ramsey

Donna Ramsey

May 31, 2019, 12:43 PM

I took my silver to an individual who buys silver and I feel like I was took advantage of I had 190.7 grams of silver he only gave me 55.00. Did he or didn’t he get over on me?

Avatar for Travis


November 26, 2019, 6:05 AM

My local silver shop gave me 25 dollars for 78 grams so I would say it’s about right. Maybe 60 bucks would of been better.

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