Is vintage silver to valuable to use every day?

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use your silver

Come on in the water is perfect!

A delightful few hours with a wonderful new client sparked a series of thoughts in my head as I drove home today. My thoughts went down a series of waterfalls…exhilarating.


Does it strike you that there is an inherent disconnect between “saving for best” and yet through that very attitude, neglecting and even actually damaging antique and vintage silver of great beauty and value?

A few trodden-on toes have protested my declaration that vintage and antique silverware can and should be used on a regular basis.

I believe silver deserves better than sitting behind glass-fronted cabinets never to be used, or worse being kept in an attic or basement where real damage is likely to occur.

“But, I might use it one day.”

When? If it’s not good enough for your family…the people you love…who is it good enough for?

If you inherently don’t like silver and are never going to use it, that’s completely understandable. Everyone has different taste.

If this is the case then find a new home for it.

  • A relative
  • A friend
  • As an outright donation to a worthy cause,
  • Sell it and earmark the proceeds to your favorite charity, or
  • Just sell it and keep the cash.

Don’t keep it’s value locked up, make it work for you or someone else. Don’t let’s it’s artistry and beauty become dulled through neglect, let it have a new home. Realize some benefits, and clear your house and mind of the clutter.*

Guilt is not a good feeling!

Would Grandma Helen prefer that her silver sit in your attic making you feel guilty because you never use it, or would she consider one of these alternatives worthy?

I would ask you spend a moment considering whether you really dislike silverware in and of itself, or are ingrained notions of high-maintenance care what’s putting you off?

You can clean silver in the dishwasher safely!

For those of you who find this notion breaks through a barrier, welcome.

Why treat the extraordinary as unwanted clutter? Make Every Day Best.

* In a considered fashion, don’t leave lots of your money on the table by scrapping something with value exceeding it’s worth in metal.


Do you think I’m pushing a boulder uphill?

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8 thoughts on “Is vintage silver to valuable to use every day?

  1. Tisha | tMediaNo Gravatar

    Hi Nan!
    I think adapting this everyday best attitude might be an uphill boulder for people like my mom who LOVES her “china cabinet” and wouldn’t dream of using the beautiful contained in it, including the fancy silver, for everyday dinners at home. I guess she’s afraid of ruining or losing it.

    But I wholeheartedly agree with you, I’ve always thought it seemed odd to keep those “special” items tucked away – as a kid, I often tried to convince my mother of reasons to use it 🙂

    I love that you say:
    “When? If it’s not good enough for your family…the people you love…who is it good enough for?”

    it’s the perfect argument to make all the silver hoarders out there rethink their position. 😉 Wonderful post!

    1. SilverMagpiesNo Gravatar Post author

      Tisha –

      Thank you! There is a definitely a generational shift going on about how we perceive these items. I’m so glad you agree with my sentiment about your family being worthy of best!

  2. Julie LoRussoNo Gravatar

    I’m with you sister! It’s an all out silver revolution-CHARGE!
    (Or in my case it might be “charge it” since I don’t own sterling flatware, YET)

  3. Jackie BernardiNo Gravatar


    I do not have more than two matching pieces, but today I am pulling out the pieces I do have, and will use them for lunch to celebrate that I am “everyday special.”

    1. SilverMagpiesNo Gravatar Post author

      Jackie –

      Thank you! That’s the spirit…it doesn’t matter how much or how little you have. Just use it! Enjoy it, what’s point of having it otherwise? 🙂

  4. Julie Anne RhodesNo Gravatar

    I’m so spending any free time I can here – LOVE the history, the appreciation, and the notion of why wait for a special occasion to bring out the good stuff? Even better to find out mom was wrong, you CAN wash the silver in the dishwasher! Can’t wait to direct her to your site. xo

    1. SilvermagpiesNo Gravatar

      Julie Ann –

      Welcome to Silver Magpies! Thank you for taking a look and leaving such kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself and like the notion of Every Day Best.

      I hope your mum does too 😉

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