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Body chemistry tarnishes silver


#1

If someone is having a chemical reaction with a sterling silver ring
so that it tarnishes right away and constantly I’m guessing it’s
some reaction with the copper content. Would argentium silver likely
circumvent that problem? Any other suggestions?

Miche
http://www.sumiche.com


#2

Hi Miche.

If someone is having a chemical reaction with a sterling silver
ring so that it tarnishes right away and constantly I'm guessing
it's some reaction with the copper content. Would argentium silver
likely circumvent that problem? Any other suggestions? 

The Argentium would probably be better in most cases. However in a
severe situation, even Argentium sterling can tarnish.

I had a friend visiting for whom I’d just made an Argentium sterling
ring. A couple of days later she came down with acute pancreatitis.
We were very busy with getting her to the emergency room, her pain
semi-controlled and finally admitting her to the hospital. When we
visited the following day, her husband asked if we’d take her jewelry
back to the house until she was discharged. The new ring was
completely black!

Admittedly, she had been perspiring very profusely and her
electrolyes were haywire but I was amazed to see Argentium tarnish
like that, literally overnight. Except for this ring, the most
tarnish I’ve experienced is a slight yellowing of a few pieces I
made over a year ago.

Pam Chott
www.songofthephoenix.com


#3
If someone is having a chemical reaction with a sterling silver
ring so that it tarnishes right away and constantly 

It could very well be the person’s diet. If they eat a lot of acidic
foods (and the western diet contains a lot of these) then that
affects their skin.

Not that you want to tell the customer this, since it sounds like
you’re blaming them, but in my experience, yes, it can be the
person’s own skin.

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com


#4
If someone is having a chemical reaction with a sterling silver
ring so that it tarnishes right away and constantly I'm guessing
it's some reaction with the copper content. 

Not necessarily. Silver-- even fine silver-- reacts to sulfur.
People who eat a lot of onions, garlic and/or eggs can tarnish silver
with their sweat. No idea whether Argentium would help with this,
just pointing out that it isn’t just about the copper.

Noel


#5
If someone is having a chemical reaction with a sterling silver
ring so that it tarnishes right away and constantly I'm guessing
it's some reaction with the copper content. Would Argentium Silver
likely circumvent that problem? 

A lot of people who have difficulty wearing traditional sterling
silver because of allergies or tarnish reactions have much better
reactions with Argentium Silver. (However, as in much of life, there
are no guarantees.)

Cynthia
www.cynthiaeid.com


#6

Pam,

I use argentium exclusively and that black tarnish happened to me. I
noticed it was happening to the jewelry I wore when I did outside
shows. I wondered if it was something I was eating. I realized if I
didn’t have any carbonated sodas of any kind the black didn’t form.
I sick to ice water instead of soda and it doesn’t happen. Oh, and
another side effect was that my ankles don’t swell at the shows
either. I am off sodas altogether now.

Susan
www.ThorntonStudioJewelry.com


#7

I’ve been working with and using Argentium in my chain jewelry for
3+ years now, keeping track of more than 2 dozen customers, with
metal allergies, specifically for research, testing Argentium
Sterling’s hypo-allergetic properties…100% have improved
resistance to allergies, and about 60% are having no allergic
reaction at all. Some have minor reactions in warmer weather or in
situations like heavy exersion/exersise, sweating, open pores.

There are bound to be exceptions, and don’t presume to speak to all
AS jewelry, only what I’ve made and sold…clasps can be a problem
if you don’t make your own in AS, although more findings are being
made available lately.

I suggest and swear by a 20 minute, precip heating @ 250f, after any
heat hardening and tumble finishing, to not only get the optimal
tarnish resistance properties, but also anti-allergy properties.

Charlie Wyckoff
charlieschaincraft.com
Klamath Falls, Oregon


#8

And if one’s Hungarian husband has retired and taken over the
cooking the sulphur in large amounts of garlic and onions will change
your body chemistry very quickly! The Speed Brite gets a regular
workout!

Cheers,
Karen


#9

Hi Charlie.

....clasps can be a problem if you don't make your own in AS,
although more findings are being made available lately. 

Don’t know if the scale is right for your chains but GS Gold does
carry some AS clasps:

http://www.gsgold.com/cart/idxargentiumssmillproductsandfindings.asp

Pam Chott
www.songofthephoenix.com


#10
If someone is having a chemical reaction with a sterling silver
ring so that it tarnishes right away and constantly I'm guessing
it's some reaction with the copper content. Would argentium silver
likely circumvent that problem? 

I forgot to mention: 970 Argentium Silver has a higher silver
contnet, and an even higher resistance to perspiration, etc. than
Argentium Sterling Silver. At this time, however, 970 AS is only
available in casting grain, though the grain is carried by most of
the sources that carry the AS sheet.

Cynthia
www.cynthiaeid.com


#11

Standard sterling is simply 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. As Noel
points out, both copper and silver may react with sulfur compounds,
especially hydrogen sulfide, which is naturally in the air we breathe
at 0.1 ppb levels on average. When silver reacts with hydrogen
sulfide, it forms silver sulfide, which is dark grey color. When
copper reacts with hydrogen sulfide, it form copper sulfide, which is
blue. Initially, the color of tarnish appears yellow, because the
film is so thin (less than 10 nm). As the film grows, the color
darkens. When Argentium tarnishes, the films are usually much thinner
and therefore appear yellow. The advantage to this is that the yellow
can easily be wiped off and the tarnish resistance grows over time,
due to the growth of protective germanium oxide film.

Exposure to sweat (or perspiration as we train engineers say) is a
bit different. Sweat composition and pH is heavily influenced by body
chemistry, which is, in turn, influenced by diet, medical condition,
physical activity level, amino acids and so on. For some people
(appears to be a very small % of the population), their sweat is
heavily acidic (low pH) and contains corrosive salts (sodium
chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, etc…). At low pH,
the salts react with the copper to form a copper chloride/copper
hydroxide complex which appears green. Under oxidizing conditions,
the copper may precipitate out as cupric oxide which is black. Pure
silver is largely immune to these types of corrosion reactions.

With that said, Argentium® 93% silver alloy contains copper and
for some people or conditions may react to the environment. Argentium
93% has the highest tarnish resistance of any sterling alloy I’ve
tested, but the sweat resistance is about on par with standard
sterling. There is a premium version of Argentium with 97% silver and
less copper, which has much, much better sweat resistance. We sell it
in primarily casting grain and the item number is G6597.

Samuel A. Davis, P.E.
Sr. Process Engineer
Stern Leach


#12
Initially, the color of tarnish appears yellow, because the film
is so thin (less than 10 nm). 

This reminds me-- After the Cherry Creek show in Denver, I found
that all my silver jewelry had a yellow cast! I had to re-clean
everything for my next show 4 days later. What a PITA! Has anyone
else had this happen-- is it characteristic of Denver? Even pieces I
never took out of their pouches were discolored, so I don’t think it
was from someplace I passed through on the way.

Noel


#13
If someone is having a chemical reaction with a sterling silver
ring so that it tarnishes right away and constantly I'm guessing
it's some reaction with the copper content. Would argentium silver
likely circumvent that problem? 

The copper content probably has little to do with it. They would
likely tarnish a fine silver ring as well, a little more slowly but
tarnish just the same and likely they will tarnish Argentium as well
again slower but tarnish none the less. Tarnish is most often a
silver/ sulfur reaction. If you can patina the alloy with liver of
sulfur then it will tarnish, the difference between alloys is the
rate of speed with which it tarnishes not whether it will tarnish.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550