I have been watching this string with much interest. I use
traditional US Sterling, for years now, but there is so much about
the virtues of "As" that I have been reading, I have felt the pull to
switch over, or at least try it out. This string has been an amazing
education for me, with much being shared on BOTH sides of
Anyway... the more I read about the advances made in the areas of
Argentium solders, and the how much those actually informed about its
use have been able to do with it, the more I am pulled. I have become
very good at torch & heat control and always use denatured alcohol
with boric acid wash as an extra step to protect against fire stain.
I rarely have to deal with it, but I do still hate that rare
purple/gray shadow that of course only appears on the most important
and time consuming piece, (you just HATE to now have to start over or
depletion guild, but you still know it's under there nonetheless!)
It's that awesome quality of being resistant/almost fire stain proof
that is drawing me in more & more.
I have a couple of questions that I have not seen mentioned.
1) Just how hard of a learning curve is there to switch over to As,
if you learn about it's characteristics do you have a good chance
that a switch over will be fairly quick and painless?
2) I am assuming that the price of the As and it's solders is
similar to standard sterling? Is there a price raise for argentium?
3) From what I am reading, the malleability seems to be better. What
about using As as thin strips for bezel wire? Has it been tried, and
what, if any, are the benefits/drawbacks? (Typically I use fine
silver but have occasionally used sterling. (Could this possibly be a
money saving alternative?)
4) For those that always use As, have you seen any reluctance on the
part of customers not trusting it as a "New Metal"?
5) Does As solder well with other metals, i.e. copper, gold & even
brass. I am using more brass lately, for an affordable color change
option in some of my work, as opposed to Gold. Can I get away with
soldering argentium silver to brass with careful heat control and
easy solder, and can I solder it to gold & copper, too?
6) Do I need to change my pickling solutions? With Rio Pickle in
particular, and will a "Super Pickle" (Rio Pickle mixed with
peroxide instead of water) still work if I am cleaning a mixed metal
piece? Is there still a white hazy "pickle skin" (as I call it), when
you pickle argentium silver, and if so does is clean off the same as
7) Is there a decent supply of As findings being offered in the
marketplace, such as tubing, stone settings, etc. I typically make
my own, but sometimes I order them in. Are there some good supply
houses to keep in my notebook?
8) How does As perform with the use of conforming die applications,
for embossing and forming? Do you see any major differences or need
to make any major adjustments? (specifically in use of my Bonny Doon
press and rolling mill applications, as well as with hand forming? I
have read that it is really forgiving and moves really well.
9) How about enameling and glass applications? I use sterling in
enameling, being able to raise a fine silver layer is a really nice
option with standard sterling, can you enamel onto As in the same
fashion you would sterling, and is there a difference in the way you
would prep an As piece to raise an enamel friendly surface? Can I
form glass beads directly onto argentium tubing like I would with
Is there anyone in the Toledo, Ohio area that is trained in the use
of As that might offer some training and advice, or give affordable
classes addressing the specifics of As?
I know this is a ton of questions, and I probably have more in this
brain of mine that I cannot think of right now. Please forgive me
that I have so many! I would appreciate it greatly if someone could
take out some time from their busy life to answer some of my
At this time I just cannot afford to purchase the CDs or pay for
classes, as I am working very hard to build my website & promote my
business and every single penny has gone toward that goal. I am truly
interested in getting on board with using Argentium Silver as the
benefits seem just too hard to resist. After viewing the gallery of
images posted by
I really want to give a thorough try, but just can't afford to buy
it for experimentation. If I make the purchase it will be for making
a piece for my website inventory or perhaps this upcoming commission
I have. I am gearing up to do a very important and semi large piece,
(a full wrap bracelet that will be first embossed in the Bonny Doon,
then engraved, enameled, and as well will have some stone settings.
Thanks in advance