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Argentum


#1

Hello all -

I have heard that there is a new silver alloy from Stuller that does
not firescale. I think it is called argentum?

Does anyone know anything about this stuff??

Debby
@Debra_Hoffmaster


#2

Debby,

I have not yet used the product from Stuller but I did use the same
type of product from Swest. Since Stuller has taken over swest there
may be a good chance that the alloy is the same or close.

I use this silver for my master Silver castings and like the way it
worked. There are some minor differences from regular Sterling
Silver in the way you work with Argentium and this can
be found in Stullers metals book.

good Luck
Greg DeMark
email: greg@demarkjewelry.com
Website: www.demarkjewelry.com


#3

Hello Debby,

I just bought some argentium sterling sheet and wire. Stuller has a
great metals book that contains much technical info. It’s a good
resource. The page on the agrentium sterling discusses proper
soldering temps and casting.

I’ve not yet had a chance to play with the argentium sterling, but
can hardly wait. It apparently has a lower melting point than
standard sterling, so soft silver solder is to be used. I asked
about the argentium silver solders and was told they are still under
development… bummer. I suspect that the solder line will tarnish
and be more visible. Have to be very persnickety about fit.

I’ll be waiting with bated breath to read responses from others who
have actually worked with this new alloy.

Judy in Kansas


#4

Judy, I got a piece of thick argentum round wire to forge, and I
haven’t had any time to play but keep me informed and I’ll let you
know what happens with me. I got the 20 ton deep draw set from Bonny
Doon and wanted to draw argentum also, so much to do , so little
time, thank God.

Sam Patania, Tucson
www.patanias.com


#5

I’ve been using Argentium sterling for several years, and absolutely
love it. I am SOOOO happy that it is finally available her in the
U.S.!!! It has germanium replacing some of the copper, so it’s
still 925 sterling. It has incredibly wonderful properties that make
it sound too good to be true. Not only does it not firescale, but it
barely tarnishes! I love the fact that it is more malleable and
ductile than regular sterling, and does not seem to work harden as
quickly— making it fabulous for fold forming, microfolding, die
forming, deep drawing, raising, shell forming…

It does require a bit of care soldering, due to its lower melting
temperature. You can use hard silver solder if you are very
careful, but it is not recommended. When you solder, you need to
approach it rather like gold, because it does not conduct heat the
way regular sterling does. (This also means that it can be laser
welded, unlike regular sterling.)

Currently, the best resource about Argentium sterling silver is at
www.silversmithing.com, which is the website of the Society of
American Silversmiths. http://silversmithing.com/1argentium.htm

By the way, when I first heard about it, I worried about the
toxicity of germanium. I looked up the MSDS, and got sort of
worried, but then, when I compared it to the MSDS for copper, I got
some perspective, since copper is more dangerous. So, I feel very
comfortable using it for both jewelry and hollowware (for food).

Cynthia Eid


#6

A couple more comments:

For maximum softness, quench after the red has gone out when
annealing. It is easy to overheat, if you are used to sterling, so
do it at night, or in a dark room until you get used to it. If you
do that with a few dabs of flux on the silver, then you can learn to
know what your flux looks like at Argentium’s annealing temperature,
so that you can use the flux as an indicator if you need to anneal in
a lit space. If you see it glow in the light, it is too hot!

Oh, one more thing: Rub your finished piece with a Goddard’s Long
Shine Silver and Jewelry Polishing Cloth. Peter Johns, inventor of
Argentium Sterling, tells me that he has found that something in the
cloth bonds with the Argentium that enhances the tarnish resistance
even more. He has done tests, and even when they scrubbed the
surface of the sterling with a cotton cloth, this chemical was not
removed, and the tarnish resistance remained at super high
resistance.

I have been really pleased with the way it hardens in the oven! Try
it—I am sure you’ll like it!

Cynthia
www.cynthiaeid.com


#7

Hello All,

This new wonder silver sounds great. My problem is that I do not
have the clout to buy from Stuller. Does anyone else sell this
product?

Thanks
Rodney
RC Gems


#8
HAVE been using non-tarnish silver for a few years(since Swest had
it) now use Stullers which seems the same--no problem using hard
solder and some pcs.require multiple solders. 

cast with it at least 4 times a week. the only problem I’ve had —
to heat harden some pcs. The magnetic tumbler does help work harden
some & does a great job polishing silver.

Have even reticulated this silver and am happy with the results.

Leona Benchworker For
www.Gold_Creations.Org


#9
    This new wonder silver sounds great. My problem is that I do
not have the clout to buy from Stuller. Does anyone else sell this
product? 

Stuller will sell to anyone that can produce 3 receipts from any
kind of jewelers suppliers. Try again. I am sure that even my
carpenter can do that.


#10

hello orchidians

Cynthia thanks for the info ,have been following your work ,if I am
not mistaken you are a member of the silversmiths of America? about a
year ,maybe 18 months ago I had read about Argantium in a euro magz.
and started looking for it to no avail,

I got in touch with Geoffrey Herman (site) and asked about a place
for purchase ,the only place that came up was England. I did get in
touch with an Metal engineer in New Jersey that was going to be
carrying the stuff but never could get in touch with him again, Just
wondering where I could purchase some, I did go to the site you have
in this email, the place of purchase is in England, anywhere on this
side of the ocean?

also I was wondering if you were able to purchase Argentium in
thicker stock, for forging larger peices,there was the photo of the
Ladle on the site ,did they pour the ingot for that or purchased a
ready Billet? Have you cast ingots with this material.

Hratch


#11

Hi Hratch,

I did go to the site you have in this email, the place of purchase
is in England, anywhere on this side of the ocean? 

Stuller has Argentium in their new Metals book, pages 47 & 49. They
list sheet in 14 thru 30 gauge & round wire in 8 thru 24 gauge.

Dave


#12
... Just wondering where I could purchase some .... 

Hello Hratch,

Silversmithing.com lists a number of suppliers at
http://www.silversmithing.com/1compare.htm#Argentium

Cheers,
Trevor F.


#13

You can buy from stuller the argentums silver is casting as well in
sheet and wire. Ask for a tools and supplies account. call
800-877-7777 ext 500.

Andy " The Tool Guy" Kroungold
Tool Sales / Technical
Stuller Inc
Phone 800-877-7777 ext. 94194
Fax 337-262-7791


#14

Argentum (Please note that the correct spelling is Argentium, with an
i)

  also I was wondering if you were able to purchase Argentium in
thicker stock, for forging larger peices,there was the photo of
the Ladle on the site ,did they pour the ingot for that or
purchased a ready Billet? Have you cast ingots with this material. 

Hi Hratch,

Yes, I am a member of the Society of American Silvermiths, SAS.
Thessco is the place to buy Argentium in England, and though they
will now sell it to us here, the pound vs. dollar makes the cost too
high to be practical, to my mind. That’s why I am so thrilled to
finally have it readily available here in the U.S.

Jeff Herman forged the ladle that is on the SAS site—since he is
an Orchidian as well, we can hope that he will soon tell us what that
was made of. Currently, 14 gauge is the thickest sheet available. I
have not cast Argentium ingots, myself. Cindy

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com/


#15

Dear Orchidians,

Argentium is not the only firescale free silver available nor the
best.

I have patented a fire-scale free range of Sterling silver alloys.
These alloys are known in Australia as ‘Bright Silver 925’. The
’Bright Silver 925’ alloys are fire-scale free as well as being
harder as cast and have the ability to further age harden. See graph
on our website www.apecs.com.au/bright.htm . These alloys have been
available in the USA for 7 years and are readily available from
United PMR, including their #57 de-oxed casting grain.
http://www.unitedpmr.com

Enquiries regarding plate and wire should be directed to Horizon
Metals inc, contact bruce@horizonmetals.com.

We are seeking interested alloy manufacturing partners for these
patented alloys in England, France, Italy and Germany.

You do not need to be scrubbing fire-scale from wrought or cast
sterling silver anymore.

Regards to all,
Tony Eccles.


#16

I have been reading the thread about argentum with great interest. I
have been trying the new silver platinum alloy that is sold by ABI
precious metals . It is very nice to work with and I have noticed
that it does not tarnish nearly as quickly as sterling silver. It is
however about $75.00 dollars per ounce. Is the argentum closer to
the price of regular sterling silver? And is it as resistent to
tarnish? I was told that there is a test and a grading scale for
tarnish on silver and that it runs from 1 to 5. 5 being the worst
and 1 being the least amount of tarnish. Sterling silver comes in at
5 and the 3 % platinum silver is rated at a 3. I wonder if the
argentum has been tested this way and what it is rated. I did my own
rather un-scientific test on the silver platinum alloy. I made a
ring for my daughter who is one of these people who can turn a
sterling silver ring black in a few days. After 3 weeks it still
looks good.

John Wade
Wade Designs
wadedesigns@aol.com


#17

Thanks for the replies on argentium, both on and off list. I can tell
I’ve come late into an ongoing discussion on the topic. I wonder what
the practical/functional differences are between de-oxidized silver
and argentium silver. Has anyone used both enough to compare?

I can only find the de-ox as casting grain or small size sheet in the
USA. As far as I can tell, larger sheet is only available as
argentium right now.

Thanks,
Kirsten Skiles
www.kirstenskiles.com


#18
Is the argentum closer to the price of regular sterling silver? 

Argentium is less than a dollar more (about 89 cents, depending on
quantity) per ounce more than regular sterling silver.

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com/


#19

Kirsten,

Both ‘Bright 925’ - ‘Deoxed’ sterling silver and ‘Argentium’ have
been designed to eliminate fire scale, the well known nasty black
stain which resides beneath the surface of standard sterling silver
and is a pain to remove.

This they both do. They both also have a similar tarnish resistance.
The major differences I’ve found between the two is that the Deoxed
sterling silver is capable of attaining a higher degree of hardness
than Argentium.

I had in mind when developing our range of silver alloys that
jewelers would prefer a fire scale free silver with handling
qualities as similar as possible to standard sterling silver.

I have achieved a close likeness to the working qualities of
standard sterling silver.

Certainly the sales of ‘Deoxed’ sterling silver in America and
’Bright 925’ in Australia say so.

Whereas the Bright Silver alloys may utilize other elements as well
as Germanium to vary the working properties. Argentium is a ternary
alloy using only Germanium in addition to copper and silver.

Consequently ‘Deoxed’ sterling silver should be less expensive. Happy
FIRE SCALE FREE polishing.

Tony Eccles