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STERLING-A

I have a napkin ring with STERLING-A engraved on the inside, but no other marks. What can this be? Why no hallmark? I have tried to post an image, made sure the size was within your limits, but it won’t go on, so I’m afraid there’s no picture.

Johcon - there is a lot of American and other non-UK sterling silver smalls out there with no maker’s marks. Napkin rings seem to be among the most pervalent and we see substantial numbers of them with just the word “sterling”.

Regards,

Uncle Vic

Uncle Vic

OK, so can I rely on this ring really being sterling silver?

Regards

Joncon

Yes you can, unless of course it’s a fake. The “A” means nothing in realtion to the word “sterling”…its probably a unique mark of the maker.

The lion facing left with its right paw raised is the UK mark for sterling silver. You will never see the word “sterling” or “Made in England” on UK sterling silver, except on import/expert pieces. The numerals “925” by themselves mostlyh came into common use after an international treaty in about 1970 to standardize silver purity that affected primarily middle eastern and south American silver, and silver jewelry worldwide outside the UK. Much old American sterling silver contained the numberals “925/1000” to denote the sterling purity, sometimes combined as well with the words “sterling” or “sterling silver”, to doubly proclaim the purity. All makers of sterling silver items were quite proud of them, marking them as sterling, and the makers of cheap silver plated goods went to great trouble to devise deceptive marks to imply their goods were sterling when they were not, thinly skirting the marking laws.

As always, there are a few exceptions to the above general principles, but as we sometimes say, “if it ain’t marked sterling, it ain’t”.

Regards,

Uncle Vic

Thanks, Uncle Vic. Very helpful.
Regards
Joncon