All about Argentium sterling silver

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:


May 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm 6 comments

ByHand artisan handmade community








ByHand is a free artisan co-op for those who make handmade and those who buy handmade.

The site includes:

  • Artisan Directory
  • Forums
  • Member Blogs
  • Social Networking
  • RSS Feeds
  • Handmade Wishlists – Community

Artisan Directory – Jewelry

April 30, 2009 at 10:50 am Leave a comment

How to price your handmade jewellery


 Some tips on how to price your handmade jewellery:

April 27, 2009 at 1:49 pm Leave a comment

Interview with Pauline Salvucci




 This weeks interview is with

Pauline Salvucci of Sirona Jewelry. 



 Jewellery Website/Blog Interview 

 1.  How long have you had a website/blog?

I started a jewelry blog in December of 2008 and deleted it because I felt it had no focus. Then in January, 2009, I thought about dedicating my Sirona Jewelry blog to my Aunt Rhetta because of her influence in my life and love of jewelry

2. How did you get into jewellery making, as a business/hobby and how long have you been doing it?

For years I made and remade jewelry as a hobby, It wasn’t until 2008 that I became serious about designing as friends and others wanted to purchase my designs.

3. Who are your favourite online jewellery designers?

I love the work of Barbara Lee of Gemella Jewelry on Etsy. Barbara is an incredibly talented  jewelry designer. I admire her work trememdously.

4. What is your favourite medium to work with?

I have grown to love the feel of working with real gold in 14k and 18k. In the beginning I found it difficult since I was used to working with 14k gold-filled wire, which I still use. It’s a pleasure to work with gold, it’s got a terrific feel. I also love high quality semi-precious gemstones. Recently I purchased some AAAA rubies which are going to become a necklace for Christmas.

5. Are you self taught or have you studied jewellery making professionally? 

 I am self-taught, although will be taking a metalsmithing course at the Maine College of Art to begin this June.

 6. What has been your favourite creation?

That’s a difficult question because I really like so many of the pieces I’ve made. So to answer the question, it would have to be an 18k gold necklace made with mystic pink topaz, prehnite and tanzanite gemstones. It’s a stunner. 🙂

7. What site do you use for selling your products on?

I have used Etsy in the past and am currently using Ruby Lane. At the end of this month, I’ll have my own website with a shopping cart.

8. What type of jewellery do you make?

Sirona Jewelry has four collections:

The Luxury Collection made with Semi-precious gemstones in 14k/18k gold,

The Fused Dichroic Glass Collection made with semi-precious gemstones and 14k gold-filled, sterling silver or Argentium silver,

The Swarovski Collection made with Swarovski crystals, pearls and 14k gold-filled or stering silver

The Classic Stone Collection which incorporates the use of imperial jasper, chalcedony, pietersite, agate, nakite, chrysocolla, etc. with 14k gold-filled or sterling silver

9. Do you belong to any online jewellery making groups or forums?

Yes, I’m a member of the Jewelry Designer Network and a contributor to Jewelry Design Ideas by Rena Klingenberg.

10. Which is your favourite jewellery making website/blog?

There are so many wonderful choices. My favorite would have to be Jewelry Lessona by Eni Oken & friends at

April 21, 2009 at 11:05 am 1 comment

Interview with YouveGotMaille




This week’s interview is with Deanna of YouveGotMaile, from Tennessee, USA.

 1.  How long have you had a website/blog?

I opened my Etsy shop May 24, 2008, my blog a few months after that, and my website around September.  I keep the first two up but the website needs attention.  and

 2.  How did you get into jewelry making as a business/hobby and how long have you been doing it?

I took a metalsmithing class at Appalachian Center for Craft (an amazing place!) in February 2008.  For the class, I acid-etched a brass triangle with heiroglyphs, and I wanted to make a chainmaille collar to set it in.  So I did some research on chainmaille and found the fantatic websites with tutorials out there – and  They’re both free.  I was hooked.  I’ve since become obsessed with wire wrapping as well, and then seed bead weaving, and am just now getting a workshop set up so I can come full circle and do some metalsmithing again.  Funny thing is, I still haven’t finished the maille colar for that acid etched piece.

 3. Who are your favorite online jewelry designers?

For maille, Corvus Chainmaille, IKOW Designs and Maille Mystique (and MANY others).  For wire, I’d have a hard time choosing among the amazing ladies of Etsy’s Wire Artisans guild – which I was honored to be accepted to this February!  I also greatly admire Shaktipaj Designs, Gailavira, My Wired Imagination, Wire Bliss Mei, of course Eni Oken and a lot of others.  For bead weaving my favorites are Sand Fibers, Sandra Halpenny and Time2Cre8.  I spend lots of time visiting jewelry websites (too much, really).

 4.  What is your favorite medium to work with?

Whatever catches my fancy at the moment?  I’d still probably have to say chainmaille.  You work into a rhythm and it’s relaxing the way needlework or crochet is relaxing.  Plus, I think I need more miles on my wire work, bead weaving and metalwork before I’m really comfortable in my own creativity.

 5.  Are you self taught or have you studied jewelry making professionally?

Mostly self-taught, except for the eight-week metalsmithing class I took.  I’d really like to take some more classes at the Center for Craft, the people and atmosphere there are amazing.  Possibly even a certificate or degree in metalsmithing at some point.

 6.  What has been your favorite creation?

The ones that are still in my head are my favorites.  I’m enchanted with the creative process.  But, if I had to choose something I’ve done, I’d say the Celtia chainmaille choker I sold a few months ago, and of the things for sale now, I love the ribbony look of the “Gaia” pendant that’s in my Second Renaissance shop.

 7.  What site do you use for selling your products on?

At the moment, almost exclusively Etsy, although I have plans for my shops on Artfire, Fine Art America and Winkelf, and of course my own website.  I’m excited about an opportunity to join a local gallery that’s opening for artisans in my area and I’m hoping they’ll have some sort of online presence, as well.

 8.  What type of jewelry do you make?

I have two distinct styles.  In the You’ve Got Maille shop, there’s a lot of colorful maille items, lots of fun items that are really popular with young people in my area, and there’s also a lot that fits the Renaissance Faire-going crowd, including chainmaille chokers, wire ear cuffs, and I hope to do some circlets and torcs and such.  In the Second Renaissance shop, the aura is more sophisticated, mostly precious metals and semiprecious cabochons, my wirework and bead weaving with a Victorian bent. It feels more like art to me.

 9.  Do you belong to any online jewelry making groups or forums?

I administrate Etsy’s Chainmailler’s Guild (currently having an awesome contest, check out the blog: and Etsy’s Wire Artisans Guild ( ).  I’m also in Artfire’s Chainmaillers Guild.  I’m a member of ( ) and Maillers Worldwide ( ).  I also recently joined Creative Wire Jewelry’s Year of Jewelry and will be making my first piece very shortly  ( ).

 10. Which is your favorite jewelry making website/blog?

Tough call!  Can I pick one for each thing I do?  For wire has great tutorials and a nice community.  For chainmaille for sure.  For bead weaving I love, lots of free and for sale patterns to get you started.  I also have a massive blogroll I visit on a daily basis



April 5, 2009 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

How to make copper clay



Copper Clay Suppliers

Copper clay is very new and seems to be only available in US, Australia and New Zealand at the moment. Copper Clay comes in 100gm packs.

Both Copper and Bronze clay comes in powder form.

Metal Adventures, the company who brought you BronzClay, will be bringing out a copper clay version.

 Watch this video clip for more info:


Here are the links where you can buy copper clay in powder form:

The Eclectic Studio – Australia

Hadar Jacobson – US (soon to bring out copper clay in Canada)

 Check out these links for more info:


March 26, 2009 at 5:03 pm 1 comment

How to do Beadwork



                                                                                                                                                                                        This weeks feature is on Beadwork: find all about beadwork weaves

and stitches from Emma Warrillow, an Australian living in England

and has been beading for many years; as well as beadwork she has

dabbled in wirework and bead stringing.




ggb2Visit her Website/blog:



Learn how to do netted beadwork, peyote stitch, brick, herringbone as well as

right and left angled weaves, (scroll down the page to ‘Learn Beadwork Links’ )




 Free Beading Tutorials


Beading Forums and Groups

 Beading Book Authors and Their Books



March 23, 2009 at 2:55 pm 2 comments

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