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Cleaning solution and Argentium findings


#1

Hi there,

This has probably been covered at some stage on the forum but for
the life of me, I cant find any mention of it in the Archives. I am
just sick and tired of how badly silver tarnishes, Argentium seems
to be the perfect solution for me.

But…is it possible to get Argentium findings? I did a Google
and found that Stern Leach are the sole distributors, but that’s as
far as I am. Anyone know out there in Orchid land???

I know they make Argentium silver wire, what about headpins??? what
about jump rings??

On the same topic of silver tarnishing, does anyone know of a magic
dip solution that does a good job??

I work mainly with Pearls, Crystals and Gemstones, any one of my
necklaces can carry several thousand beads “they are pretty detailed
and pretty dammed nice” the only thing is the headpins tarnish
terribly and its embarrassing!!! to put it mildly.

So I really need your help folks, I need something to recommend to
my customers to care for their jewellery.

These are high end pieces, and they go for a pretty penny too, but I
hate the thoughts of charging that kind of money when in time I know
if not cared for, my customers chosen pieces are going to look like
pieces of junk.

“Help” Please!!!

Best wishes to all
Tina
Cork, Ireland


#2
I did a Google and found that Stern Leach are the sole
distributors, but that's as far as I am. Anyone know out there in
Orchid land??? 

Stuller also sells Argentium Sterling mill products and casting
grain, but not findings. I have not seen Argentium findings anywhere.

Matthew Crawford
www.MatthewDesigns.com


#3
But.........is it possible to get Argentium findings? I did a
Google and found that Stern Leach are the sole distributors, but
that's as far as I am. 

Findings and distributors are really two different questions. Stern
Leach holds the licence to produce Argentium Sterling (AS) in the
USA but it is distributed by Stuller, Rio Grande, and several others.

As far as I know Rio Grande is the current leader in the findings
area. From what I’ve heard they are constantly expanding that side of
the AS business, but it’s still got a long way to go to get anywhere
close to where regular silver is today. Another sources for basic AS
findings is G&S Metals (gsgold.com).

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
Visit TouchMetal.com at http://www.touchmetal.com


#4

Hi Tina

Try this link
http://www.gsgold.com/cart/idxargentiumssmillproductsandfindings.asp,
I am not connected but found this link when looking for Argentium
findings myself. Their prices seem quite reasonable, though I have
not as yet ordered from them. Maybe someone else has used them and
can give you a better idea of their service. They carry beads, jump
rings, butterflies and Leverback Spring Action earrings.

As for the head pins, just order the wire in the gauge you need, cut
to length needed plus about 1/4 - 1/2 inch and hold it in a torch
flame with tweezers and melt up a small bead on the end. This is how
I do a line of inexpensive birthstone, chip bead earrings. Its also
really quick. With the Argentium when I finally get some I can make
the headpins then heat harden them in the oven.

Karen Bahr
Karen’s Artworx
@Karen_Bahr
Calgary, Alberta, Canada


#5

Hi Tina,

You can get findings, including head pins and jump rings, made of
Argentium Sterling at gsgold.com and magicnovelty.com. Rio
Grande will have them soon.

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com


#6
http://www.gsgold.com/cart/idxargentiumssmillproductsandfindings.as
p, I am not connected but found this link when looking for
Argentium findings myself. Their prices seem quite reasonable,
though I have not as yet ordered from them. Maybe someone else has
used them and can give you a better idea of their service. 

I ordered some argentium silver beads from them last week through
their website. The next day I received an email (with a much bigger
final total than I expected) asking if I wanted to go ahead with the
order. I emailed back asking why there was such a huge difference in
price. Soon after that Joanna from GSgold called me. Turns out the
reasonable prices are based on silver at $6 (which I hadn’t noticed
when I placed my online order). Joanna was very pleasant, said they
were way behind on updating their website, and I said okay to the
order.

Then as we were both marveling at the wonderfulness of argentium
silver, I asked if she was taking requests, and she said yes, they
had plans to add a lot more findings, but weren’t sure what to start
with. My request was specific: 22 ga 2" headpins with a flat head.
She said they’d consider it. The beads arrived a few days later,
carefully packaged, so except for their outdated prices on their
website, I was happy with the company and would order from them
again. Sending them requests might help things along, findings-wise.
If they (or any company) knows they can sell certain items, then it
seems they’d be supplying them, especially now at argentium’s
beginning.

Another website I found with a few argentium silver findings is
landofodds.com It’s a confusing site with something of everything, so
searching on argentium is the best way to get their list of argentium
findings, which consists of earwires, eyepins, headpins, jump rings
and wire. I ordered some headpins yesterday, and so far there have
been no surprises. They should arrive in a couple of days (and I hope
they really are argentium – is there any way to tell just by looking
at them?).

Debra
NYC


#7

Try G&S Gold (gsgold.com). I have ordered argentium wire and solder
from them and they were incredibly helpful and friendly. Although I
don’t see headpins on their website, headpins are pretty easy to
make. I found that when melting the ends of Argentium wire, the ball
is smooth and clean, somewhat like fine silver rather than oxidized
like regular sterling.

Priscilla Fritsch
LuckyDog Designs, Inc.


#8

Hi Karen,

You talk about making head pins from AS.925 by:

As for the head pins, just order the wire in the gauge you need,
cut to length needed plus about 1/4 - 1/2 inch and hold it in a
torch flame with tweezers and melt up a small bead on the end. 

My experience is that the AS wire melts differently than regular
sterling, and the little bead wants to fall off. I’ve found that the
larger gauge wires (=/>20 ga) are the most prone to this. 26 to 22
gauge AS seems to form a bead just like regular sterling. I’ve tried
melting the bead horizontally and in both vertical directions - plan
to experiment with flame size and timing.

Good potential, but headpins take some practice. Judy in Kansas,
where the recent rains are stimulating a spectacular show of day
lilies!


#9

Hi, here is an excerpt from my article about Argentium Sterling
Silver. I hope that it is helpful.

MELTING THE END OF A PIECE OF ARGENTIUM STERLING SILVER WIRE INTO A
BALL The ball that is created by melting an end of Argentium[tm]
Sterling is usually smoother than a typical ball melted on the end
of a regular sterling wire. Most people have no difficulty
transferring their technique of melting a ball on the end of a wire
to Argentium[tm] Sterling. However, some of us seem to need to alter
our technique a bit. When I first tried, I had difficulty. Sometimes
the ball fell off, and sometimes the wire next to the ball got thin
and scrawny-looking. Here are a few tips you can try:

  • Clean the wire with scotchbrite to remove any oil.

  • Remember to use as small and hot a flame as possible, as quickly
    as possible, so that the heat does not have time to travel up the
    wire.

  • For large wires, and/or large balls, try holding the torch flame
    below the end of the wire, so that it does not affect the wire next
    to the ball so much, causing it to also melt, which can make it thin.

  • Flux is not required, but can be helpful.

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com


#10

I have found that I must use my little torch (Smith) to ball all AS
round guage wire larger than 20g. The high temp creates a wonderful
balled end before the rest of the wire heats up and falls off. I have
not have any difficulty since I started using this method.

-Susan