My metal-suppliers here in Denmark seem not to have heard about
"Argentium", but instead they recommend various other alloys, such
as this AGS, which is supposed to do away with tarnish and firescale
In my opinion you absolutely _must_ find out what is in that alloy in
order to determine what it's going to do for you.
If their formula is something like 92.5% silver, 1% germanium and
6.5% copper then it sounds like Argentium Sterling (AS) and that's
great because that's in use and been tested en-masse so you pretty
much know what you're dealing with. But they would also in violation
of the AS patent so that's not so great.
If you actually want to get Argentium Sterling in Europe right now
you might want to try Kultakeskus in Finland
) which is where I bought mine. They
generally don't do sheet, wire, grain etc though. I bought 5 mm plate
from them and roll out what I need from that. Other European
suppliers for AS are tooling up as we speak.
I've tested a few other "no tarnish" and/or "no firescale" alloys and
... well let's just say that all such claims are not created equally.
Some alloys like this rely on zinc, for example, to make their claims
but in truth all they do is get a heavy coating of zinc oxide on the
surface which polishes up to look somewhat silvery. But if you polish
too deeply, which is probable, you break through that zinc layer
--there is a visible demarcation line-- and are back to the parent
metal with all it's inherent issues.
Other alloys add a little titanium, for example. Apparently --second
hand info here- these do exhibit some tarnish and firescale
resistance but they're also "solder resistant" which probably isn't a
place that many of us want to go.
When it comes to tarnish and firescale resistance the "me too"
candidates are coming out of the woodwork these days. Caveat emptor
if you ask me.
in The City of Light