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Argentium recipe for casting


#1

Hello All

Im sure the basic recipe for Argentium was a poorly kept secret to
begin with but I know its pretty much out there now. Could anyone
assist please Id like to have a go at casting Argentium and am
hoping for a few options of Argentium recipes to try.

Many thanks
Phil W


#2
Im sure the basic recipe for Argentium was a poorly kept secret to
begin with but I know its pretty much out there now. Could anyone
assist please Id like to have a go at casting Argentium and am
hoping for a few options of Argentium recipes to try. 

Okay I do not know the alloy properties of Argentium, what is
special about it?

Regards Charles


#3

Google it, go to Rio Grande (no personal connection), go to the web
site of the producers for “fact sheets”… it’s out there!


#4
Google it, go to Rio Grande (no personal connection), go to the
web site of the producers for "fact sheets".... it's out there! 

Got it, thank you.

That is interesting, so germanium is the secret ingredient, that’s
so cool.

Regards Charles A.


#5

For a group that is so supportive of protecting copyrights, I’m
surprised at the lack of outcry regarding patent infringement. Mr.
Peter Johns invented Argentium silver in 1996 and has patented it and
licensed it worldwide.

I don’t know Mr. Johns, but I respect the time, effort and financial
commitment he made to obtain a patent(s). I hope that Orchid members
will respect his intellectual property rights.

Jamie


#6

Hi Jamie,

I do agree with you, however “is” the recipe simply substituting
germanium for copper? That was given on Rio Grande’s
website.

Maybe I should patent a silver alloy with different properties,
there are plenty of other metals and metaloids that would mix with
silver nicely.

Personally I like to share or if it’s really cool I
will sit on it, and share it later, because the time and effort
required to protect a patent can be a nightmare. Pandora is a good
example of trying to protect something and not being successful (or
so I am told).

Throw in China’s interesting take on copyright, and then the fun
really starts.

Btw: A full patent in Australia is $20,000 and this is after paying
search fees to ensure a similar patent does not exist. Oh and the
rub… it only protects you in Australia, international copyright is
another kettle of fish.

A head teacher told me that once something is out there, in the
jewellery trade there is no real way to protect it, so you make as
much money as you can before someone figures out how you did it.

Regards Charles A.


#7

Jamie,

A few months back, I interviewed a metallurgist from United Precious
Metals on my weekly Blog Talk Radio show, which I do every Thursday
afternoon from my studio. It is archived if you want to hear it. In
that interview, the metallurgist explained that Peter Johns did in
fact patent Argentium with a specific ratio of germanium in the
alloy. Pretty neat stuff, except for the way it gets very brittle
when it’s hot.

United Precious Metals did their own research into using germanium
in a sterling alloy, and they discovered that a smaller ratio of
germanium in their alloy produced the same low
fire-scaling/staining/tarnishing effect as Argentium. However, UPM’s
metallurgist claims that their patented germanium containing alloy is
less brittle when hot, unlike John’s Argentium. United Metals
patented their lower ratio of germanium containing silver alloy.

Since we often alloy our own sterling in my studio, we can
experiment with alloys, and find what works best for us. United’s S57
NA alloy ( with the germanium ) seems to be a great working alloy,
and puts any copper based sterling to shame, in my opinion.

Unfortunately, this great S57 NA alloy is not yet available in sheet
or wire stock commercially, so you’ll have to alloy your own to try
it out. One of my students called United Metals asking about the
different characteristics their alloys had, and they were nice enough
to send her a few free samples to try out. How nice is that?

I really hope that this helps promote a dialogue about alloys, their
pros and cons.

Jay Whaley


#8

Hello all.

Re my request for a recipe for Argentium: I feel a little embarras
sed as I have obviously either been misinformed or misunderstood the
status of Argentium. I was lead to believe it was a decades old alloy
that had been recently branded and did not realize it was a new
patented invention. I assumed it was one of many alloys, techniques
or methods in the jewellery trade that are out there just not easily
extracted from the few who have practiced and perfected them.
Regardless I am looking for new STG casting alloys for a rapidly
growing business and have requested a contact from Argentium. I’m
very surprised there is not much more demand forfire scale resistant
STG alloys. Also to the various people who contacted me offline.
Firstly, thanks very much for the omlette recipe. It sounds nice but
I doubt its as good as my extra egg with Avocado and Gorgonzola.

Thanks very much
Phil W


#9

Hi Jay

I really hope that this helps promote a dialogue about alloys,
their pros and cons. 

Your wish is my command :slight_smile:

I am getting into the mokume alloys at the moment, it’s been raining
cats and dogs here and I’m to chicken to melt even the smallest
quantity of metal in the rain.

However prior to this I’ve been playing with bronze alloys and the
percentage of tin contained there in.

If you want to make a 90/10 (or ancient bronze), it’s a simple
matter of putting the tin under granulated copper, the tin melts, the
melt point of the copper lowers and it melts… stir with a green
stick hey presto ancient bronze.

I also tried to increase the amount of tin, to 20%, 80/20 (or bell
metal) and this made an alloy that was very silver. The metal is
extremely brittle, but has nice tonal qualities. I made ring
slipped, it hit the concrete floor shattering, and making a most
pleasant ringing sound.

The more tin you add the more brittle the final alloy. If you want
to add ductility you can add lead, but I don’t use lead for the
health reasons, and the Australian standard puts a limit on using it
in jewellery manufacture.

When you start to alloy metals and wanting to experiment, the
periodic table becomes your friend.

Regards Charles A.


#10

pleeease, from what i have heard germanium has been used in de-ox
casting grain for a long long time.

the Argentium patent would be only for a specific % of germanium. the
"main event" was the producing sheet and other items from Argentium.
castors i have spoken to have said that argentium is too finicky to
cast with so they use their old standby de-ox(low tarnish) casting
grain. (that contains germanium) apparently the argentium people have
recognized this casting issue and now sell hi- argentium approx 98%
silver. is it any easier to cast? any casting people out to add to
this?

zev


#11
Peter Johns did in fact patent Argentium with a specific ratio of
germanium in the alloy. 

Mr. Johns was not that naive. The patent covers a range of alloys.

And to whoever talked about the “secret” - the whole idea of a
patent is to make the method public while protecting the inventor for
a period of time. No secrets.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#12

Regarding the recent interest in the Argentium recipe; obviously we
are aware of the postings on Orchid and generally do not contribute
unless there is a simple request for as we do not want to
use the site as a commercial forum, rather we prefer to let users
share their experience and knowledge of all different alloys,
including their benefits and weaknesses.

However to avoid any potential misunderstandings about the status of
Argentium silver alloys let me state clearly that these alloys are
protected by numerous patents and can only be supplied by our
licensed manufacturing partners. Obviously Argentium International
Limited would take any infringements of our patents very seriously,
however minor they may be.

If you are interested in casting with the Argentium silver alloys
then if you visit our website (www.argentiumsilver.com) details of
local suppliers are available.

Best regards,
Charles Allenden


#13
Mr. Johns was not that naive. The patent covers a range of alloys. 

After the above posts, my curiosity got the better of me. I read the
actual US patent that was granted for Argentium in 2008

http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=rWOoAAAAEBAJ&dq=argentium

and found that among the allowed claims are a range of alloys, not a
specific ratio of germanium. It’s also interesting to read the
citations of prior art in the patent. There is obviously a
significant history of deox silver, both patented and unpatended.

I was also intriged by the reference to UnitedMMR.com’s Sterlium
(also a silver/germanium alloy) S57NA? in one of the posts, and how
that square’s with Argentium’s patent. One of UMMR’s press releases
earlier this year states "Sterlium® is a patented formulation…"
However, their web site does not claim a patent for this formula.
Nothing comes up in any patent searches.

Does anyone know what the real story is in the “germanium world?”

Jamie