Silver is not valued as highly today as it was in the Victorian Era. The focus these days is more on gold, which is a reflection of how far we have advanced in the financial realm. Pewter household goods and jewellery wouldn’t sell at a car boot sale for more than a pound now, but it was extremely expensive and most people dreamed of owning it. Back then it had the value of high quality gold, diamonds and other gems today.
The Victorian Era is coordinated to the reign of Queen Victoria 1837 to 1901. This was an exciting era that saw the widespread use of gas electric in homes and businesses and anaesthetics such as chloroform became widely available in hospitals.
- Some of what we consider normal everyday life right now was starting to emerge in common society.
- Part of the progress made was the graduation from using pewter (often called the poor man’s silver) to silver plating with pure silver.
- This made silver plated household goods and jewellery more popular (and expensive) while more everyday people were suddenly able to afford pewter items.
Genuine Victorian antique silver plated items and cheaply made silver plated items from later times are very easily confused. Just because something looks old doesn’t mean it is Victorian era and just because it looks cheap or insignificant doesn’t mean it isn’t worth something.
Generally, Victorian era silver plated items tend to have very elaborate designs unless they were used in hotels or other service industries. Household items were typically decorated with birds or floral designs. Since those are common designs in many other eras and even in our modern world, that doesn’t help most people who don’t have a lot of experience looking at true Victorian era goods.
In general, Victorian antique silver doesn’t go for a huge amount of money today.