The return from refining your sterling silver flatware can be maximized by taking a few extra steps prior to sending in to the refinery. The handles of knives contain a variety of materials that are used to provide weight and balance to the knives. Knife blades are not sterling silver and, therefore, have no value. You can chose to remove these before sending to the refinery or leave them attached. It is possible that leaving them attached can dilute the melt and reduce the percentage returned.