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WW2 Sterling Wings question


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Lonny,

 

No I believe that each country has it's own regulations on the marking of "sterling" on anything made of sterling. England had ( and maybe still does) a very strict code as to what can be marked sterling. Most Brit wings you see are either unmarked, or just stamped "silver" , if they are actually sterling, they usually have a row of other hallmarks also.

Paul Conrad
Still looking for quality wings!

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Hello Patrick,

 

I read that thread but my impression was the law applied only for imported sterling items. I'm not sure if it also applied on the sterling wings that manufactured in the U.S... Am I wrong? :rolleyes:

 

 

Hello,

 

Some of that information was posted in the pinned thread above about Juarez wings being made in Mexico. You may want to check out that thread and see if it helps you any.

 

Best regards

 

Patrick

"I think, therefore I am" - René Descartes

 

 

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Lonny,

 

In order for something to be marked 'Sterling' it must be made of at least 92.5 percent pure silver; however, there has never been a US law that required anything made of sterling be marked accordingly. On the other hand, should you see a badge marked 'Silver' or 'Coin Silver' that would mean it's silver content does not measure up to that of sterling.

 

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Thanks for the clarification. So apparently the sterling markings U.S made wings were mainly for "marketing" purpose as a higher quality wings I assume. And I guess there are sterling wings that were not being marked during WW2 as well.

I've seen numbers of seller claimed their wings were sterling but there weren't any markings on the back so I just wanted to find out if that may be the case. However, there's no proof if a wings are sterling or not unless some chemical test being done...

"I think, therefore I am" - René Descartes

 

 

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However, there's no proof if a wings are sterling or not unless some chemical test being done...

 

I've been puzzled a bit by the appearance of a number of unmarked WWII vintage wings, not marked sterling. From the way they show age and tone, I would nearly swear they are sterling since plated silver is fairly easy to identify on an aged piece. Silver plate just doesn't tone or clean the same way sterling does; but the unmarked wings tone and clean just like those wings that are marked sterling.

 

Wonder if, since the government contract simply called for the wings to be made from sterling, some makers simply certified it so and didn't bother with the marking since there was no commercial purpose for doing so, at least with the government wings. Wouldn't think there was much savings in not marking, but maybe there was some other financial reason for not bothering. I know most collectors consider a wing sterling only if it is so marked, but I'm not so sure.

 

Paul S

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Thanks for the clarification. So apparently the sterling markings U.S made wings were mainly for "marketing" purpose as a higher quality wings I assume. And I guess there are sterling wings that were not being marked during WW2 as well.

Lonny,

 

Yes, back marking higher quality wing badges when made of STERLING was more for marketing. We have to consider the times. For several decades following WW1 there was no shortage of silver in the US. It was plentiful and by todays standards it was cheap ... even throughout WW2; therefore, it was not uncommon for some manufacturers to overlook putting a STERLING back mark on their sterling wing badges.

 

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