Argentium™ Sterling Silver

21 January, 2003

I read an interesting article on about a new silver alloy called Argentium.

Argentium™ Sterling Silver is a registered and patented alloy developed by trained silversmith and tutor Peter Johns at Middlesex University England.

The alloy, unlike standard Sterling Silver is tarnish resistant. Any faint tarnish that may develop can be easily removed with ordinary water and a sponge.

The alloy is also resistant to firestain, a purple stain which occurs in Sterling Silver when it is heated during fabrication. Firestain spoils the high shine of a silver object and can take hours to emery away.

Sterling Silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. 100% silver would be too soft to be used for jewelry purposes, so copper is added in order to produce a harder alloy. However the copper within Sterling Silver oxidizes when heated, causing a purple stain just under the surface of the metal.
Argentium™ Sterling Silver contains 1.2% Germanium which reduces this purple firestain.

For more information on Argentium Silver see

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