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Argentium lecture by Peter Johns and Sam Davis


#1

Yesterday, Peter Johns and Sam Davis gave a presentation to the
Boston Section of TMS (The Minerals Metals and Materials Society) on
Argentium Sterling Silver: Past, Present and Future. Over 40 people
attended the dinner meeting, with diverse affiliations such as the
jewelry industry, academia, metal smiths and flute manufacturing. The
meeting room was located on the sixth floor of the Sloan building on
the MIT campus in Cambridge. The view overlooking the Charles river
and the reflections cast from the Boston skyline on the water at
night
were magnificent.

Equally entertaining were the sweet sounds of an Argentium flute,
which was Manufactured and played by Jonathon Landell of Landell
Flutes in Vermont. Mr. Landell also brought regular sterling and
titanium flutes to play and hear the difference in tones emitted. The
increased hardness of the Argentium flute produced crisper, warmer
and more resonant notes.

During the social hour, time was spent mingling with guests over a
drink and watching the video playing, titled “The Silversmith of
Williamsburg”.

From this video, we learned how ancient silversmiths disguised fire
scale on regular sterling by raising the fine silver content on the
surface. On display were fine works of Argentium sculpture and
bracelets by Cynthia Eid, Argentium mill products, granules and paste
solder from Stern-Leach, Argentium findings from Hallmark-Sweet and
Argentium chain made by Excel.

After dinner, desert and coffee, Peter Johns (the inventor of
Argentium) spoke to the audience on the history of the Argentium
invention and development, the benefits of Argentium (improved fire
scale and tarnish resistance, improved ductility and welding,
reversible age hardening and so on). Mr. Johns explained that
germanium (the key ingredient in Argentium) was invented by a german
named Clemens Winkler who named it after his homeland germania (latin
for german). Ironically, Germanium had no practical use until WWII,
when england used it to make transistors that were used for radars to
defend England from Germany and eventually win the war. Peter
finished his presentation by showing many fine works of Argentium
art, such as the carousel cuff links made by Eva Martin in Argentium
and 18K gold, which won the prestigious 2006 Saul Bell award.

Mr. Sam Davis (Senior Process Engineer at Stern-Leach) then gave a
talk on Argentium based upon his experiences manufacturing it and
providing customer technical support since Stern-Leach (a company of
the Cookson Material Products Group, Cookson Precious Metals
Division) became the sole licensed manufacturer of Argentium in North
America in August of 2004. The benefits of Argentium were explained
from a metallurgical and chemical basis, technical problems and
solutions were discussed, the business case for switching to
Argentium from other sterling alloys was presented, and examples of
many products and processes were given. This was
pertinent to everyone from large scale jewelry manufacturers to
artisans, craftsman, students and metal smiths.

After their presentations, questions from the audience were fielded.
Karen Eraslen, Chair of the Boston Section of TMS, presented Mr.
Johns with an engraved dish spun out of Argentium in appreciation for
his travels from Old England to New England to make the presentation.

Samuel A. Davis, P.E.
Sr. Process Engineer
Stern Leach
49 Pearl Street
Attleboro, MA 02703
Ph: 508-222-7400 x1284


#2

Thank you to Mr. Davis for the very interesting account of the
Argentium lecture; it was especially welcome since I would like to
have been able to attend.

Among the comments he made, those regarding Argentium findings
(Hallmark-Sweet) and chain (Excell) were of particular importance to
me. Until now I was unaware of any commercially available ArgentiumT
sterling chain and very few findings.

Does anyone here have further about these products or
know if Stuller or Rio or ? will be carrying them soon?

Although there was no reference to Argentium on either company’s
website I have requested their product

Excell is not in the dealer’s listing of the TSG but I plan to check
in with Stern-Leach in Tucson next week. I’ll share my findings from
any sources.

Pam Chott
www.songofthephoenix.com


#3

Dear Pam,

Glad to hear of your interest in the Argentium lecture by Peter
Johns and I. If you want a copy of the presentation we made, please
let me know and I’ll be glad to send you one. I will be glad to chat
with you at the Argentium Catalog in Motion booth in Tucson.
Argentium findings and chain are becoming increasingly more
available.

Stern-Leach, Hallmark Sweet, and Excell manufacture Argentium mill
products (sheet, wire, tubing, casting grain, solder flush sheet,
solder filled wire, powder, paste, solder, granules), Argentium
findings (balls, beads, earings, friction clutch, toggles, pins,
stations, and jump rings) and Argentium chain in large quantities.
These products are then usually distributed through companies such as
Rio Grande, Stuller, G&S Metals, Hoover and Strong and others.

For instance, on the G&S website ( http://tinyurl.com/24dmkj ), you
can purchase most of the items a just mentioned. I was also able to
find various Argentium findings on Rio Grande 's web site
(www.riogrande.com). That is not to say that you will not find these
items elsewhere, this is just what I found from a quick search.

Kind regards,
Sam


#4

Hi Pam!

In addition to Rio Grande and Stuller, another supplier that is
actively working to get chain and findings in stock is G&S gold
(www.gsgold.com)

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com


#5
Stern-Leach, Hallmark Sweet, and Excell manufacture Argentium mill
products (sheet, wire, tubing, casting grain, solder flush sheet,
solder filled wire, powder, paste, solder, granules), Argentium
findings (balls, beads, earings, friction clutch, toggles, pins,
stations, and jump rings) and Argentium chain in large quantities.
These products are then usually distributed through companies such
as Rio Grande, Stuller, G&S Metals, Hoover and Strong and others.

Thank you so much for your reply, Sam. I hope to be able to visit
with you at Catalog in Motion though that appears a remote
possibility as a recent change in plans has me helping to man a booth
elsewhere during those hours.

I am currently using AS French wires from Rio and clutches from
www.gsgold.com and making my own AS earring posts and pin findings.
My check earlier today of www.gsgold.com found several chain styles
available. This is indeed encouraging and hopefully we will soon have
access to additional styles including the domed and round Omega
neckpieces.

It is very gratifying that these manufacturers are responding to our
needs in working with this wonderful new metal!! I look forward to
availability of all of these AS products through our distributors and
to further expansion of the findings and chain offerings.

My best,
Pam Chott
www.songofthephoenix.com