Hi all. The previous thread that touched on this subject petered
out, so I’m starting another one.
I’ve been using Argentium wire to make hoop earrings, mostly for my
Etsy shop. I don’t use any heat, so firescale is not an issue for
me. My only goal is to reduce the upkeep for my customers, and
perhaps give myself a little competitive advantage. I’ve been
actively promoting the “anti-tarnish” benefits of Argentium, worth
the small additional expense. However, I don’t know if that drives
any sales or not.
Then I got an email from a customer asking about a yellowish tinge.
And then came the comments from Jim Binnion and others reporting
similar experiences. So today I called Hauser & Miller, who supplied
the wire I’m using, and talked to one of their long-time guys. He
told me that he has heard reports of Argentium tarnishing faster
than sterling! Wha?! How can this be? When I described what I was
making, he suggested sticking with regular sterling. Since I had
just received a new batch of wire, and since Argentium is all over
my Etsy shop, this was bad news/good news.
Good news: I could switch back to sterling, leave prices the same,
and keep an extra little slice for me. And I’d have more flexible
options in purchasing material. Also potentially good is discovering
earlier rather than later that Argentium is worse for my needs and
my customer’s satisfaction. Bad is having to rewrite everything and
effectively do a 180 on my silver recommendations- not a public
relations plus. But I’d have to keep promoting it until I run out of
Argentium, generating a bit of ethical angst.
So, all you Argentium mavens, what do you think? If ALL I care about
is tarnish resistance in the field, which is my best bet, Argentium
or regular sterling? Thanks!