Facts and Information for Argentium Sterling Silver
- Argentium Sterling Silver alloys exhibit superior tarnish resistance. Most of the copper in the traditional sterling silver is replaced with germanium which causes the metal to become tarnish resistant.
- Argentium is whitee in colour then traditional sterling silver.
- Argentium when soldered, does not produce fire scale hence eliminates pickling.
- Argentium can be heat tempered to be much harder than traditional sterling silver.
- Argentium, unlike sterling silver can be fused with only the application of solder flux use for sterling silver such is made by Griffith - see Jewellery supplies. Over 90% of argentium soldering can be done by fusing. It is also great for granulation.
Argentium Sterling Silver also has a higher silver content (approx 94%) than traditional sterling silver (92.5%).
For more information about Argentium Wire. visit the site: www.argentiumsilver.com
Working with Argentium® Sterling Silver
Argentium® sterling silver has a melting point of approx. 60° cooler than traditional sterling silver. This means is has a lower annealing temperature of 1050°F to 1150°F. Argentium® sterling silver glows paler red then traditional silver when heated to annealing temperature. Use a clean solder board just for Argentium® sterling silver (see “Jewellery tools” for soldering boards)
2) Argentium® sterling silver is very fragile when it is red hot, hence it can break and mark easily when red hot.
3) Because of the lower melting temperature, hard solders are not recommended. There is Argentium® sterling silver solders available. We do carry them.
4) Argentium® sterling silver does not conduct heat the way that traditional sterling does. To do this give the entire piece a general heating and then concentrate on the area of solder joint and not on the solder.
5) When soldering, flux only the joint and not the whole piece as it is not necessary.
6) Heat hardening Argentium® sterling silver, unlike traditional, it does not need to be quenched. To harden, heat in a kiln or oven to 580°F for approx 45-60 minutes, then air cool. Note it will not lose its hardness if left in longer. Lower head can be used for hardening such as 365°F for two hours.
7) When polishing, use separate wheels for Argentium® only to avoid contamination from other metals that could cause tarnish.