This setting is sterling. Stamped 925. Made in the USA. It is expensive because it is not "phony Chinese sterling" or German silver or a brand called .925 or Mexican silver. All of which are not actually sterling and sometimes contain no silver at all. So if you want a genuine sterling settings made here in the USA this is one of them. It is open back. Simple to mount calibrated cameos or stones, you just bend the prongs down tight. I am including some photos of various items just placed int this frame so you get an idea how it looks. You are purchasing just the setting.