All about Argentium sterling silver

May 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm 6 comments

feature of the week 

 

argentium sheet

Argentium Sterling Silver is a modern sterling silver alloy which modifies the traditional alloy (92.5% silver + 7.5% copper) by replacing some of the copper with Germanium. As it retains the same 92.5% silver content, it is still sterling silver.

 Germanium is a crystalline semi-metallic element which is found naturally in small amounts in silver, copper and zinc ores, as well as in the mineral, germanite. The germanium forms an invisible film on the surface of silver alloy. This film prevents oxygen from reaching any tarnishable metals, such as copper, employed to harden the pure silver.

 Germanium was discovered to impart the following properties to sterling silver:

  1. High tarnish resistance(An excellent selling point for your silver jewellery)
  2. Firescale elimination
  3. Increased ductility
  4. Increased thermal and electrical resistance (making alloys suitable for welding and laser forming)
  5. Environmental advantages (associated with not having to remove or plate over firescale)

 The absence of firescale eliminates time-consuming steps required by the silversmith when working with sterling silver

Argentium Silver is the result of research begun in 1990 and perfected in 1996 by Peter Johns at the School of Art & Design, Middlesex University, England. The University owns the patent and licenses its production. Argentium Silver is patented and trademarked by Argentium Silver Company, UK..

As for working with Argentium Sterling, artisans who forge and weld sterling need to be aware of certain differences between Argentium and traditional sterling silver (e.g. lower melting point), but those who merely incorporate Argentium findings or wire into their jewelry will not find it any different to work with. 

 argentium wire

 

 

 

 Argentium wire it is a bit stiffer than sterling silver. So if you make wirework jewellery it is recommended you use dead soft Argentium wire.

 Links about Argentium silver:

Official website:

 Useful links:

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Entry filed under: argentium, Articles, Chainmail, chainmaile, feature, findings, How to, Jewellery making, jewelry making, silver, suppliers, Wirework. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. All about Argentium sterling silver  |  May 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    […] Original post by jewellerymaker […]

    Reply
  • 2. beadinggem  |  May 13, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Excellent post! I caught your blogcatalog announcement.

    Reply
  • 3. Dave at Rings & Things  |  May 13, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Thanks for listing us as a useful source of information on Argentium silver. We’re happy to be one of the few lucky distributors of it!

    Dave
    (@Rings_Things on Twitter)

    Reply
  • 4. Andrew, Cardiff  |  June 12, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Hey, very precisely written and informative post jewellerymaker, thanks. I’ve used argentium a few times now and have some exceptional results. Great for delicate jewellery making, perhaps not the most versatile alloy overall but I’am a fan. Cooksongold stock it now and have a decent range. Also some good information on the cookson site in the knowledgebase. Very useful. Here’s the link for you guys.
    http://www.cooksongold.com/Argentium-Silver/
    Good blog article too.
    http://www.cooksongold.com/blog/
    Check them out. Which other UK jewellers are stocking argentium silver? Would love to hear from you guys.

    Love the blog – thanks!

    Reply
  • 5. Yanxia  |  July 17, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Thank for the useful information. I bookmarked into my blog.

    Reply
  • 6. Larry  |  April 4, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Thanks for the info on Argentium silver, very interesting. I’ve bookmarked this site.

    Reply

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