Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

AGS Magic Master Alloys


#1

I wonder if anyone in this forum knows about this alloy: AGS Magic
Master Alloys, produced by the german company AGS Alpha Guss Metalle

  • Legierungen, Pforzheim.

They can be found at http://platinlegierung.com/silver.html

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
problems. I’m about to order this alloy, along with fine silver, to
make my own mix of 935 silver for centrifugal casting. If any Orchid
member has an experience with this AGS-alloy, I should much
appreciate learning about it. Thank You.

Jon H. Holm,
Svaneke, Bornholm
Denmark


#2
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
problems. 

Hello Jon,

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
(http://www.kultakeskus.fi/) 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.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
www.touchmetal.com


#3

Hello Jon,

I have confirmed that the AGS alloy in question was introduced as a
casting grain and features a high percentage, relatively speaking,
of zinc. As such you will find that it develops a thick outer layer
of zinc oxides which simply mask the silver bearing alloy below. This
layer is thick enough to give the appearance of tarnish resistance
but it is, in fact, simply a zinc rich coating on the metal. Even a
modest amount of polishing will break through that layer to the
paler silver below.

One additional difficulty with these alloys is that normal pickle
won’t remove the zinc scale they develop. In my tests with similar
alloys you’ll have to go to hydrochloric acid to get at that zinc
scale and even then you’ll probably have to heat the acid.

Hot hydrochloric acid is not a nice thing to have sitting around your
studio. Among other things it’ll rust every steel tool you have in
the vicinity. Been there, done that.

Worse yet the HCl won’t do much to deal with normal firescale so you
find yourself needing to have two different kinds of pickle on your
bench.

In the end it hardly seems worth the effort, at least that was my
conclusion.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
www.touchmetal.com


#4

Hi, Perhaps the problem is that in much of Europe, Argentium Sterling
Silver is called Bright Silver. or since you are in Denmark, why not
order Argentium Sterling Silver from Kultakeskus in Finland? (There,
it is called Super Silver (in Finnish Super Hopier)

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com/