Randy, its gonna take some study on your part, but the basics are really not that complicated. First, just read the prior posts on this site and study the pictures of the marks. Second, get the basic books and become familiar with the basic marks and makers.
The British have a legally sanctioned system for marking silver that dates back many hundreds of years with the standard purity being 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper, or “the sterling standard”…thus “925” silver. That is also the standard for “sterling” silver in the USA and many other countries. The British mark for 925 silver is the lion facing left with his right front paw raised. The word “sterling” or “sterling silver” means the same thing on silver made in the US. Those words almost never appear on British silver, and almost always do on American. That little lesson will keep you out of a lot of trouble. If its not marked, don’t buy it.
Spend some time on this site and you will make a lot of progress toward being comfortable with silver.
I’m heading out in the morning to Miami Beach for the antique show to gawk at silver prices for a week, and will return on the 27th.