Frequently Asked Questions

"How do I get an estimate?"

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Our master silversmith can usually provide you with a ballpark restoration estimate based on a picture.  Please email us at oexning@gmail.com with a picture, a basic description and dimensions of your piece(s) as well as a description of the restoration work that is required. Dan (Mr. Silversmith) will review the images and we will email you an approximate cost.  In some cases we will have to see your piece in-house in order to give you an accurate estimate.  In that case you would need to ship your item(s) to us for a FREE estimate.  Please make sure to include your contact and shipping information in the box. (There is a charge for return shipping &  insurance.)

Our shipping address is: 

Oexning Inc.

320 NC 197

Bakersville, NC 28705

"How long does it take?"

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Our lead times run up to 16 weeks.  Certain types of restoration jobs may require additional time.  We can usually accommodate a faster turn around time  when needed; rush fees may apply. 

"How do I know if the piece is worth refinishing?"

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 First of all, we must stress that we are not licensed appraisers.  We have been in this business for over 31 years and do, however, have an idea of the value of a wide variety of silver items. We will inform our customers when the cost of restoration far outweighs the monetary value of their item , when the poor condition or quality of a piece  does not warrant restoration, or when a certain piece should not be restored due to age, rarity or method of manufacturing.  In cases such as these, we leave it entirely up to the customer to decide if the sentimental value of their piece justifies spending the money to have it restored. Our advice is that if the piece  is of good quality, it is a family heirloom or you just enjoy and will put it to good use and the budget allows, then have it restored!

"Do you buy silver?"

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We do purchase sterling silver and select silver plated items from our customers nationwide.  Should you choose not to have your sterling silver restored or it is beyond repair, we will make you an offer. In addition to this, should you have sterling silver or gold that is unwanted, damaged or excess to your needs, we would be interested

in making you an offer on those items as well.  Feel free to email us pictures and descriptions of the items you wish to sell at oexning@gmail.com.

"Do you sell silver?"

Yes we have several locations to choose from.  

  • Please visit our website www.gryphonestatesilver.com where you can peruse purchase a wide variety of curated antique and estate silver products. If you are unable to find the item you are looking for, please let us know.
  • You can also find our estate silver at the following fine stores:
    • Terrace Oaks Antiques -  Charleston, SC
    • Schiffmans - Winston Salem, NC
    • Schiffmans - Greensboro, NC
    • Sylvans - Columbia, SC
    • Schwarzchild - Midlothian, VA
    •  Marthaler's Jewelers - Asheville, NC   

"Will plating fill in the engraving?"

 

No, it will not.  This is a common concern with our customers, but we can assure you that if a piece is polished and plated properly, the

engraving  and hallmarks will not be affected. The only time engraving can be filled in, or removed, is when the plater uses a base coat of nickel, which is thicker than silver, or if the polisher, in prepping the piece, is not careful and polishes the engraving off. We will make you aware if the engraving is too light to begin

with, or if there are any scratches or pits near the engraving that cannot be removed without damaging the engraving. In some instances, we have to remove the engraving prior to plating and have it redone to match the original.

"Does replating ruin the value of my piece?"

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This is a very common misconception.  The answer is almost always "No."  In years of research, we have found that if a piece is electroplated to begin with, having it re-electroplated will simply restore it to its original beauty.  The process we use to plate items has remained virtually unchanged since the turn of the 19th century.  Our Master Silversmith is a specialist  in restoring antique silver.  We work with antique dealers and collectors nationwide because we don't make the pieces look brand new; we make them look restored.  Most of our competitors use nickel as a base coat, which can give silverplated items a chromey or cheap look.  We apply the silver directly to the base metal, which is the process that should be used. The only time you definitely shouldn't resilver a piece is if it is Sheffield plate.  These pieces are fairly rare and were silvered by rolling a thin layer of pure silver over copper. 


"What can you tell me about the hallmarks on silver?"

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If you'd like to learn more, visit these two reference websites. Both are great, free resources.  Spend some time to get to know your silver!

Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks, and/or Maker's Marks

  There are American and International categories as well as a silverplate section and numerous other helpful links.

Sterling Flatware Fashions' Comprehensive Guide to American Sterling Silver Flatware 

"Do you have any drop-off locations in my area?"

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Yes, if it is more convenient for you, we work with a few drop-off locations that can take your silver piece, ship it to us, and we handle the rest. 

  • Morrison Smith - Charlotte, NC -   (704) 332-1605 
    • Restoration & Buying Drop-off Clinic - 9/14/18 & 9/15/18 from 10am-4pm
  • Schiffmans - Winston-Salem, NC -       (336) 725-1911
  • Schiffmans - Greensboro, NC -            (336) 294-4885
  • Schiffmans - Greensboro, NC -            (336) 272-5146
  • Sylvan's - Columbia, SC -                       (803) 779-2250
  • Schwarzschild - Midlothian, VA -          (804) 334-0150
  • Marthaler's Jewelers - Asheville, NC  - (828) 676-1625  

Have any other questions that weren't answered here?

 If you have any other questions that weren't answered by these FAQ's please feel free to contact us either by phone at (828) 688-9998 or by email at oexning@gmail.com.