Q: I’m considering selling a silver tea service to someone who buys gold and silver items. I’m now wondering if the set may be worth more than meltdown value. The sugar and creamer are marked “925 Sterling” on the bottom. The set’s tray is worn and all I can make out in the first line of the mark on the bottom is “rlboro Pla.” Under that is, “by Morton Parker, Canada, E.P. Brass, lead mounts.
A: Morton Parker is a Canadian company founded in Trenton, Ontario, in 1945. It is still in business and is still run by members of the Parker family. The company makes silver-plated and stainless steel hollowware for the retail market and the food-service industry. The words that are partly worn off the bottom of your electroplated brass (“E.P. Brass”) tray indicate that it’s from the company’s “Marlboro Plate” line. Places that buy silver are looking for sterling silver, not silver-plate. The standard for sterling silver is .925 silver (out of 1.000 parts). Your silver-plated tray is not worth much, but the sterling silver hollowware pieces are worth at least meltdown value. The price of silver fluctuates, but you can check the current market price by using one of the meltdown calculators on online sites.