Q: My grandmother gave us a silver bowl that she got as a gift in the 1950s or ’60s. It’s 8 1/2 inches in diameter. The bottom is marked with the lion, anchor and old English letter “G” mark used by Gorham. The sides of the bowl are engraved with three initials and the years 1854 and 1904. We’re thinking of selling it or recycling it for scrap value. Can you tell us what it’s worth?
A : The dates and monogrammed initials on your bowl indicate it was probably made to mark some event, perhaps a 50th anniversary. Silver is always worth at least its meltdown value. If a piece of silver also has sentimental value, families often keep it regardless of the meltdown value. Take the bowl to a jeweler or dealer in gold and silver to find out its minimum value. The price of silver fluctuates, and the value will depend upon the current price of silver, the weight of the bowl, and whether it’s solid silver or silver plate. You should get at least meltdown price from an antiques dealer or auction.