Value of silver in my flute

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Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:43 am

Value of silver in my flute

Post by rkimmel »

If anyone could please offer advice.
I have an Wilkins Artley flute that I have stored for years. Purchased 1973.
I know that it is considered sterling all three joints and has white gold springs.
Does anyone have any advice of it's scrap value now that silver is moving up?
Were the rods and keys plated or were those solid silver also?
It pains me to even ask this question, but I must look for ways to fund college expense for our son and I do have a Haynes that I enjoy.
I know the level of flute building is so improved that it is hard to get a good price on it from a player so I was considering listing it for it's metal worth.
Thanks so much

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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:42 pm

Re: Value of silver in my flute

Post by wakeless »

It seems a shame to melt down a flute, but I can understand how it could be tempting with silver around $45 per ounce. Unless the instrument is badly damaged, however, you might be better off selling it intact on eBay or Craigslist. Those Wilkins models still bring around $600 or more if they're in good condition, and are really excellent players if fitted with an upgraded headjoint. The head, body, keys, and mechanism are all silver. (The head crown may or may not be.) The flute weighs right about 16 ounces total. With the screws, pads, pad washers, head crown, and steels removed, it probably weighs closer to 13 oz. in silver. That would calculate to $585, except that a buyer doesn't pay but about 80% of the weight, paying you about $470. Also, the grade of the silver is taken into account. I believe the Wilkins is coin silver, not 0.925 sterling. I don't know anyone who has sold a flute this way, but you'd probably be doing good to get $400. I'd try selling the flute on eBay first, whether a pad job is needed or not. After all, the Wilkins is a copy of a high-end Powell, albeit with a flawed embouchure cut and placement, and there are players out there who love this flute even with the original head. I have a '74 edition I play with a JB Weismann headjoint. It sounds and plays wonderfully. Good luck, and I'd be interested to hear how it pans out for you.

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Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:03 pm

Re: Value of silver in my flute

Post by Longwll »


May I respectfully ask why you think they are coin silver? Interesting that they are not stamped "silver"

And I just learned from Bruce Bailey that the crowns on the Gemeinhardt 3SS are plated. I wonder why? Silver was so cheap back then (and now again)

And now I believe it because I just bought a 3SS and there seems to be a little brass showing on the tip of the crown.

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