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By Friday, gold had reached a new 26-year high, silver a 26-year high and platinum an all-time high, as the table opposite shows.

After a 14 per cent overnight fall on April 20, silver has now recovered and its scrap value offered at Michael Bloomstein Precious Metals of Brighton is currently £6.20 per ounce.

Mr Bloomstein, who supplies ATG weekly price listings, said a number of antiques dealers had sold him items of stock for scrap. He has also received a large number of pre-1947 coins (with a 50 per cent silver content) and pre-1920s coins (with a 92.5 per cent silver content) in particular – an old two-shilling silver coin is now worth about £1 as scrap.

“We’ve got a lot of coins coming in, but we’re also seeing some wonderful quality silver antiques,” said Mr Bloomstein. “It’s mainly post-1930s silver salvers and teasets, the kind of thing dealers are struggling to sell at over £5 an ounce. We’re also seeing some Georgian flatware, knives, spoons, forks, and especially items that are patched-up, leady or with rubbed marks.”
By Alex Capon