Sterling Silver, also known as .925 silver, is silver that is 92.5% silver. The silver is often alloyed with 7.5% copper. However, it can also be alloyed with nickel, cobalt, zinc, or iron. The majority of the items we see from the United States are sterling silver or .925. The jewelry is marked 925 or sterling. Medallions from Franklin Mint or Hamilton Mint say the word sterling. For the most part they are marked on the rim of the medal or on the front or back.
Silver comes from many different countries around the world. Similarly, the silver items are marked on the item, like the silver from the United States. However, other countries may have different percentages of silver. For example in Mexico, the silver may be marked 925 or 950. Moreover, some countries may mark the silver item with a number, for example, 800, 835, or 900. Another way to mark silver is with a pictorial or picture mark.
Flatware and Hollowware from Great Britain, including England, Scotland, or Ireland may be marked with a picture mark, often a lion, anchor, crown, or castle. The mark is followed by a letter to indicate the date or time period it was made. Other marks on the piece may be duty marks, maker’s marks, or import marks.
Many countries around the world use different markings for their silver. Bring in what you have to California Gold and Silver Exchange and our knowledgeable staff will be able to identify what you have.