I have made a number of necklaces using Argentium wire for the chain
links, and I find that the sparkle dulls in a couple of weeks of just
not being worn, and that on some people after a couple of wearings a
yellow or even thick black coating can appear.
The solution is simple: soap and water and a soft toothbrush, dry in
a terry towel. I tell people to clean the necklace before they put it
on every time to renew the sparkle (and prevent the build-up of the
yellow or black).
Some people never get the yellow or black, and it seems to have to
do with body chemicals or things like makeup, sunscreen, etc., but at
any rate, it washes off! My mother lives in Florida and plays golf
with sunscreen on, and her Argentium chain starts the day like new
and ends up solid black every time…this does not happen to any of
her regular Sterling chains. But she cleans it each time and it looks
great. And cleaning it is much less work than polishing. (By the way,
it is very difficult to get the black stuff off with silver
I think it is a mistake to sell Argentium as "tarnish-resistant"
without these cleaning instructions. People are very disappointed
when their Argentium isn’t all shiny and new when they thought that
magically they would never have to do anything to it.
Frankly, I don’t understand why I have never read this on any of the
Argentium websites and sources. It seems to be a secret.
Any thoughts on this?