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Availability of platinum sterling alloys


#1

Hello All,

I am designing an engagement ring for my fiancee that must be a
lustrous white, durable, tarnish resistant, and able to be cast with
relative ease.

Having read of others experiences with platinum sterling, these
points seem to argue forcefully for its application in this project,
especially as my fiancee and I both tend to prefer the luster of the
platinum sterling pieces we’ve seen online to the white gold alloys
available. Platinum sterling also seems to possess greater durability
than Argentium silvers and other gallium-silver alloys as well as
contributing to the uniqueness of the piece and the inherent value of
the metals within it. Finally, palladium sterling doesn’t seem to
have generated as much of a fervor as platinum sterling among
metalworkers (at least that I can tell), and I assume they have their
reasons for responding in such a way.

I’m still left with two questions however: 1) How does palladium
sterling compare to platinum sterling? And 2) Where can I purchase
platinum sterling casting grain in relatively small amounts?

I know ABI offers palladium sterling now, and that they offered
platinum sterling in the early 2000’s, but as of summer 2008,
discussion of the alloy seems to drop sharply, and there seem to be
few to no reliable reports of people purchasing new metal from
commercial suppliers after that point. I know that some on this forum
suggest buying fine platinum and silver and brewing your own alloy,
but I read in the interviews with Doc Robinson that the commercial
alloy contained a whole host of other metals that greatly improved
its workability and hardness, and as novice, I’d rather keep the
mixing to the professionals if I can.

Thanks for the advice,
Eric
Eric McChesney


#2
know that some on this forum suggest buying fine platinum and
silver and brewing your own alloy, but I read in the interviews
with Doc Robinson that the commercial alloy contained a whole host
of other metals that greatly improved its workability and hardness,
and as novice, I'd rather keep the mixing to the professionals if I
can. 

Silver platinum alloy is my metal of choice. The alloy was invented
by Faberge. The original recipe is plenty strong and does not
require any additions. I do not know who Doc Robinson is, but I
suspect that adding other metals has more to do with improving
profitability rather than mechanical properties of alloy.

I do my own cooking and so should you if good results are to be
expected. The recipe is 60% silver, 30% gold, 10% platinum, all pure
metals is a must. Solder - 85% silver, 10% gold, 5% platinum. As far
as palladium silver, I do not see the point. Palladium does not have
the same anti-tarnishing properties as platinum. It reacts with
sulphur in presence of water vapors, in the same way that silver
does. So combining it with silver accomplishes nothing!

Leonid Surpin
Studioarete.com


#3

Eric, I would try to discourage you from using any sterling alloy
for an engagement ring which is intended to be worn daily for a
lifetime. All metals will wear but the silver just won’t hold up to
the daily wear like gold or platinum alloys will. Think of it as
creating an heirloom.

Mark


#4

Hi Eric, ABI is a great company, they do some really good things
there.

I know they have a Platinum Sterling that works really well.
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep805z

On the other hand if you are looking for hardness and durability, I
would try Continuum Sterling a new Palladium form.

Continuum?? Sterling is just as it is supposed to be (Sterling
Silver) so treat it that way. Just as Sterling was created for silver
to have more strength, so was Continuum??. I have melted with a torch
poured into a centrifugal or melted with induction and poured static
with vacuum assist. However you use Sterling this metal will
accommodate your needs. It is more tarnish resistant than your
average Sterling Silver.

Casts harder and will not crack even when quenched immediately while
red hot. The Metal can be fused without solder when sizing rings,
and then even hammered back up without cracking. There are also two
accompanying solders specifically designed for this Sterling (Hard &
Medium) for those who chose to solder. When you want it hard, it can
reach near white gold hardness with a simple precipitation heat
treatment. http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep8060


#5

I have not purchased casting grain, but I get platinum sterling
stock forfabicating from United Precious Metals.

Ben Brauchler FC&T


#6

United Precious Metals has 2 Platinum Sterling Silver alloys.
“Platinet” Sterling Silver with 6.2% Platinum, available in casting
grain and fabricatedstock. Our newest formulation is "Platilite"
Sterling Silver with 2% Platinum currently available in casting
grain only. Both alloys are firescale free and offer maximum
resistance to tarnishing. Contact our sales dept. for pricing on
these products.

Best regards,
Jim Sivertsen
United Technical Dept.


#7
All metals will wear but the silver just won't hold up to the daily
wear like gold or platinum alloys will 

Platinated silver will outlast many gold alloys, provided that
goldsmith knows what he is doing.

Leonid Surpin
Studioarete.com


#8

silver? And why wouldn’t the gold be recognized as it is more
valuable than the silver?

Esta Jo. spring in Philly… gorgeous.

j
Esta Jo Schifter


#9

Hi this stuff sounds amazing.

Any one, hi Charles, know where to get it in Australia?

Richard


#10

I would also like to add that the Continuum Sterling Silver alloy is
exceptional for setting and is extremely anti-tarnish. Stamp it as
Sterling as I think it is .928 or .929 in reality. It is not a platinum
sterling alloy, but it is a platinum group sterling alloy/ I diamond
set with it in my cast pieces and it does not feel much different
than 14k white in terms of prong resistance. It has more of a feeling
of platinum on final prong closure. I trust it for secure stone
setting in a ring and can direct plate it with rhodium and not worry
about contaminating the solution.

This is anecdotal evidence only, but it seems to more smear like
platinum, than abrade down like gold, for an idea of long term wear.

As cast on the Continuum is around 100HV, I age harden in the kiln
at 825 F for 30 to 45 minutes and it will then be 160HV, putting it
in a hardness range of many 14k yellow and 14K white gold alloys.

It is important to know that it is very ductile at 160HV and not
brittle as you might suspect.

John Butler invented it for Stuller and really too humble to give it
the credit it deserves, so I will!


#11

Have you tried Stuller’s Continnnium. It has the hardest of 14ktw
gold…

Andy The Tool Guy
Have a Stullerific Day


#12

I first saw Continuum silver at the MJSA Portland Jeweler’s
Symposium.

Stuller had an amazing cast cuff bracelet that was a ton of very
light gauge interwoven wires with only one casting sprue. It was
still shiny, unmarred and bright after months of handeling.

I am just finishing up fabricating a pair of glasses out of
Continuum and sapphires. I really like it. It has the spring I need
for glasses. It’s nice to handle and polishes beautifully. We kiln
hardened it before setting. Tim is still bead setting and hand
engraving them and says that it sets and graves like hard silver.
Bright cuts beautifully. No fire scale after much soldering. It
solders like gold so I find it easier to solder than traditional
silver.

I do have to say it is a little bit expensive, but for this
particular project it is the perfect metal.

John at Stuller has been great about answering all of my questions
as I’ve worked on this.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#13

Leonid, this Platinium Silver Alloy that you make and use, do you
stamp it and if so, what do you stamp it as ? I mean what caratage
or quality alloy?

thanks, Hratch
Atelier Hratch Babikian


#14
Leonid, this Platinium Silver Alloy that you make and use, do you
stamp it and if so, what do you stamp it as ? I mean what caratage
or quality alloy? 

In accordance with USA law, written by our "brilliant"
representatives, no hallmarking is possible. I do understand the
thrust of your question. On one hand alloy is quite expensive, and
on the other you cannot even mark it as sterling. Quite funny. I mark
it with “Studio Arete” and provide client with full description of
construction and alloy composition. This way they have reasonable
assurance of quality. One way to get around idiots in Washington.

Leonid Surpin
Studioarete.com


#15
In accordance with USA law, written by our "brilliant"
representatives, no hallmarking is possible. I do understand the
thrust of your question. On one hand alloy is quite expensive, and
on the other you cannot even mark it as sterling. Quite funny. I
mark it with "Studio Arete" and provide client with full
description of construction and alloy composition. This way they
have reasonable assurance of quality. One way to get around idiots
in Washington. 

In Australia we have a similar situation, if the ppt is less than
the minimum standard you can’t really stamp it platinum with the
platinum symbol, and fineness mark inside that symbol.

You could still sell it as a platinum ring, as our standard is
volountary, but if someone took you to court for selling something
that you said was platinum (according to the standard), you’d be
toast.

If you made some sterling with .925 fine silver and the bulk in
platinum, it still could be marked .925 in Australia.

Regards Charles A.

P. S. If you don’t like the system, you have to be vocal and effect
change.


#16

Hey all,

I followed Leonid’s instructions for alloying this myself. first time
could not get mass of platinum to melt so poured nice ingot with
beautiful round tab at top. Second try, also with bigger torch than
smith little I was using, and got a nice ingot to pound, roll, cut
up, remelt and pour into another ingot. I have to say, I really liked
the properties so far. Moves wonderfully and will roll out to foil
with little (less) annealing than I would’ve guessed by a long
shot… Now to get outside and rid meself of these winter suicidal
tendencies.

sliv