If you want to see if it's silver do this. Take a pot, add some water. Place a piece of tinfoil in it, and place the ring on the tinfoil. Bring the water to a boil then add baking soda. If it's silver it will sparkle. This is another way of cleaning your silver items that are heavily tarnished.
Another way to test if something is silver, use some saliva on the item and wrap it in tinfoil. Leave it for about twenty to thirty seconds, open it up and if it smells like rotten eggs then it's sliver. However, you may have something made out of another base metal which has been silvered. This too will smell like rotten eggs until all the "silver wash" has gone.
It is not recommended to clean your hammered coins so that they shine. If you do polish your hammered coins they will be devalued.
We all know how expensive pinpointer probes are to buy. For a few extra pounds you'll extend your probe's life by years. Buy a tin or spray can of Plasti Dip and cover the length of the detecting part of your probe. If it wears off, just give it another coat of Plasti Dip.
* use of this tip is at your own risk.
If you have found an item of silver which has a hallmark and you want to know more, go to silvercollection for information on how to decipher the the UK system of hallmarks. You may find reading hallmarks confusing at first, with a little practice you'll soon become an expert. If you're still unsure ask on many of the free detecting forums, someone will be able to decipher what they mean. Try supplying a good clear photo, if possible use a macro or super macro setting.