How the times have changed. Every so often a piece of silver comes across my desk that has had someone’s social security or license plate number etched into the base. It was the 20th century answer to monograms. Everyone who owned a piece of silver wanted to be able to identify it, if indeed it was stolen. Monograms and armorials were very useful identifiers, and evidently some people felt social security numbers were an even better solution. It seems shocking these days to engrave your social security number on something that might well end up in the hands of a thief! Because in all likelihood your social security number is far more valuable than your silver. Make a silver inventory instead and keep your personal details personal.
A much better idea is to document your silver and take photographs as proof. Frankly, I would imagine that most stolen silver ends up being melted for scrap, so actually recovering your piece is unlikely. However, if you have documented your collection…whether it is a single piece or hundreds of items…at least you will be able to prove to your insurance company what was taken. This will improve the likelihood that you will be appropriately compensated, although the sentimental value can never be replaced.
If you are wondering just what you information you would need to capture, take a look at this Silver Inventory Kit I have developed. Yes, I’m giving it away, gratis. Make sure your silver is documented!
We all know a home inventory is important to do. Your silver deserves special attention. A casual pass with the video camera might not be enough to prove that it is sterling, not silver-plate. Even if nothing ever happens to it, capturing the family stories is just as important as documenting its financial value.
Just do it!