sterling silver


of, pertaining to, or noting British money: The sterling equivalent is #5.50.
(of silver) having the standard fineness of 0.925.
made of silver of this fineness: a sterling teapot.
thoroughly excellent: a man of sterling worth.
British currency.
the standard of fineness for gold and silver coin in the United Kingdom, 0.91666 for gold and 0.500 for silver.
Also called sterling silver. silver having a fineness of 0.925, now used especially in the manufacture of table utensils, jewelry, etc.
manufactured articles of sterling silver.
sterling flatware.

1250–1300; Middle English: name of a silver coin (see star, -ling1), with reference to the little star on some of the mintages

sterlingly, adverb
sterlingness, noun

4. noble, honorable, worthy, first-rate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sterling (ˈstɜːlɪŋ)
1.  a.  British money: pound sterling
 b.  (as modifier): sterling reserves
2.  the official standard of fineness of British coins: for gold 0.91666 and for silver 0.925
3.  a.  short for sterling silver
 b.  (as modifier): a sterling bracelet
4.  an article or articles manufactured from sterling silver
5.  a former British silver penny
6.  (prenominal) genuine and reliable; first-class: sterling quality
[C13: probably from Old English steorrastar + -ling1; referring to a small star on early Norman pennies; related to Old French esterlin]

Sterling (ˈstɜːlɪŋ)
Peter. born 1960, Australian rugby league player

sterling silver
1.  an alloy containing not less than 92.5 per cent of silver, the remainder usually being copper
2.  sterling-silver articles collectively

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, "silver penny," probably from M.E. sterre (see star), from the stars that appeared in the design of certain Norman coins, + dim. suffix -ling. The other theory is that it derives from O.Fr. estedre "stater" (see stater). Sense broadened
by 1565 to "money having the quality of the sterling," and in 1601 to "English money in general." A pound sterling was originally "a pound weight of sterlings," equal to about 240 of them.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
sterling silver   (stûr'lĭng)  Pronunciation Key 
An alloy that contains at least 92.5 percent silver and up to 7.5 percent copper or another metal, used to make jewelry and silverware.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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