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Cooksons' Brillante silver


#1

Hi Richard,

Have you tried the new Brillante silver from Cooksons? Good luck
with your export drive. 

No, I’ve not yet tried the Brilliante silver. Have you used it and
if so is it good? I’d be interested to know thanks.

Helen
UK


#2

Helen,

their brilliante - is the same germanium added silver as
argentium…so given the argentium discussions on Orchid, you should
be able to apply the quirks of using argentium to
brilliante…Cookson& sons is my 2ed favourite supplier (after
Hoover & Strong) for quality casting grain and pre-fab mill products
that I am too lazy to make on a given day ! rer


#3
their brilliante - is the same germanium added silver as
argentium.. 

Oh Brilliante (ha ha :wink: ) RER, thanks! I didn’t realise. I’d been
making enquiries about buying Argentium from the States and didn’t
realise we had it over here all this time! Doh (Homer Simpson moment
again!). Cookson’s is my favourite supplier now that I’ve got to
grips with their website.

Helen
UK


#4
their brilliante - is the same germanium added silver as
argentium..so given the argentium discussions on Orchid, you
should be able to apply the quirks of using argentium to brilliante. 

RER I’m sorry to say that your is incorrect. The
Cookson’s data sheet on Brilliante specifies:

Alloy Composition:
93.5% Silver

  • Tin, Zinc, Indium and Copper

See that data sheet here: Brilliante Silver Alloy Datasheet
(236482),

http://portal.knowledgebase.net/article.asp?article=236482&p=11047

Whether the Indium in Brilliante produces similar results to the
Germanium in Argentium Silver (AS) I can’t say.

FWIW, the percentages of Ge that are in AS (as in the trademarked
alloy) are protected by a range of patents. Any alloy using those
same percentages is infringing on those patents so I strongly suspect
that you will not find Cooksons selling such a product unless it is
Argentium Silver.

Even if Brilliante did add Ge they couldn’t legally do it in the
same concentrations as AS. Needless to say the percentages of the
alloy components can have an enormous affect on the properties of the
alloy. That’s why the copper in traditional sterling has a 7.5%
concentration: much more makes the alloy tarnish too much and much
less makes it too soft. That’s what the alloying concentrations are
all about.

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


#5

Dear Helen,

from what I have learned about using Brilliante silver from Cooksons,
it is not the same as Argentium silver. I have used Brilliante silver
and found that it does produce firestain. Argentium contains
germanium which creates a protective oxide on the surface thereby
preventing firestain. I don’t think that Brilliante silver contains
any Germanium. Therefore the two metals are not the same. Brilliante
silver is quite expensive. Personally I would twice about using
Brilliante silver as you still have to cope with firestain. Try
Argotect to reduce firestain.

Richard
www.richard-whitehouse.co.uk


#6

Hi Richard,

Yes you’re right. Another Orchid member from the UK pointed out that
it wasn’t the same so I looked at the technical data sheets on
Cookson’s website and it indeed does NOT contain germanium and as
you say it still suffers from firestain. I’ll stick to Sterling with
perhaps some fine silver for certain parts as there seems to be no
advantage to using Brilliante at all.

Thanks for the info though.

Helen
UK


#7

Germanium is added to silver instead of silicon and as such is great
for casting but not so good for wire and sheet as it tends to make
the metal more brittle. Brilliante silver’s name suggests it has
tellurium added but it does not show in the analysis. this would
have the same effect as Si or Ge if it was thus. I think that it is
just .935 silver and as such will be brighter and less prone to
oxidation than sterling as a matter of course. Britannia standard
silver is .958 and is better for making bezels, enamelling etc than
sterling anyway and has been around since 1670 so is not new.

nick


#8
Germanium is added to silver instead of silicon and as such is
great for casting but not so good for wire and sheet as it tends to
make the metal more brittle. 

If you read up on contemporary silver alloys I think you’ll find
that those with silicon behave quite a bit different than Argentium
Sterling (AS). Improved casting results is one properties claimed
made by the silicon bearing alloys though they do tend towards the
brittleness you’ve mentioned.

AS tends to be free of firescale in both casting and torchwork
applications yet shows no tendency towards brittleness. In my own
work I roll all my own sheet from 5mm plate and draw all my own wire
from 5mm square rod: AS tends to be more ductile than regular
sterling not less, and it is vastly less prone to brittleness than
the silicon based alloys.

AS will work harden just like any other silver alloy, but
brittleness occurs at a point well beyond where most other silver
alloys would have started to fall apart, certainly far beyond what
the silicon bearing alloys can handle.

For example, to test AS’s ductility I did a destructive rolling
test: I kept rolling a chunk of annealed 5mm square AS rod down until
it was visibly cracking (no annealing). I managed to reduce it from 5
mm to 1.5 mm before the stress fracturing was visible. That’s a 70%
reduction, far more than you’d expect from most other silver alloys,
and many times more than you could ever hope to get from the silicon
alloys.

Brilliante silver's name suggests it has tellurium added but it
does not show in the analysis. 

In today’s marketplace the naming of alloys is generally understood
to be driven by marketing concerns above all else, to the distinct
exclusion of any need or desire to reveal anything about the alloy’s
contents. I suspect Brilliante’s name tells us as much about it’s
Brillo pad and Chianti content as it does about it containing
tellurium.

FWIW, gold and silver ores typically contain trace amounts of
tellurium so I assume we’re talking about tellurium added as opposed
to tellurium detected.

… this [tellurium] would have the same effect as Si or Ge…

Do you have any evidence that (a) Brilliante contains added
tellurium, or (b) that the effects of tellurium in silver alloys is
similar to that of Germanium? I heard no such claims and the
chemistry of these elements doesn’t suggest that this would be so.

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


#9
Brilliante silver's name suggests it has tellurium added but it
does not show in the analysis 

Yes, according to Cookson’s data sheets, their Brilliante silver is:

93.5% Silver + Tin, Zinc, Indium and Copper.

and their Britannia silver is :

96.3% Silver + Copper

Helen
UK


#10

Brilliante does NOT contain tellurium. Its make-up is 93.5% Silver +
Tin, Zinc, Indium and Copper

Helen
UK


#11

I have thought about getting some Argentium silver to compare with
Brilliante silver. Unfortunate the shipping costs make it
uncompetitive with Brilliante. I did try using Brilliante silver, but
as the name implies it just gives a high shine, which is very good
for retailers but does not make much difference to manufacturers. I
would have thought that Britannia silver would be a better choice as
it has significantly less copper than standard silver.

Richard
www.richard-whitehouse.co.uk


#12

Sorry if I’m saying something that has already been said, I’m trying
to get the hang of the forums :wink:

I bought brilliante wire last week because Cookson’s were out of 8mm
sterling (they didn’t tell me till I got to the counter to collect,
but that’s another story).

It definitely doesn’t tarnish in the same way sterling does - I’ve
left a piece in water for a week, with a piece of sterling for
comparison; the sterling blackens and the brilliante doesn’t.

The thing I was irritated about is the fact that it doesn’t "ball"
like sterling (or copper, or…). I bought it for pins, and try as I
might the only result I can get is a nasty mess of slurry on the end
of the wire that then drops off before it balls. Can’t get it not to
do this.

The other concern is the indium content - I can’t find anything
definitive on it but there is a lot of suggestion out there that
indium is toxic, which worries me.

sophie


#13

Dear Sophie,

According to Cooksons data sheet there is no indium in Brilliante
silver. I have had the same sort of problem with Brilliante silver.
I tried to us it for reticulation.

It just doesn’t work. I think there must be another metal in
Brilliante silver that Cooksons didn’t specify. You could try 99%
silver for pins, it doesn’t oxidise.

Richard
UK


#14
According to Cooksons data sheet there is no indium in Brilliante
silver. 

I’m not sure what data sheet you’re looking at Richard? According to
Cookson’s Brilliante data sheet there IS indium in the alloy,
together with of course silver and the remainder is tin, zinc and
copper.

I’ve not tried it yet so can’t comment on its performance but Sophie
was right that it has indium in it.

Helen
UK


#15
I'm not sure what data sheet you're looking at Richard? According
to Cookson's Brilliante data sheet there IS indium in the alloy,
together with of course silver and the remainder is tin, zinc and
copper. 

You were right about the alloy of Brilliante silver. This is from
Cooksons website:

How is Brilliante different from other silvers? Brilliante is
highly tarnish resistant and is less susceptible to firestain
than standard silver alloys. It is age hardnebale and can be
worked further than sterling silver. Brilliante contains 93.5%
silver, as opposed to the 92.5% present in most silver alloys,
along with tin, zinc, indium and copper. This makes it an ideal
general purpose silver alloy suitable for all casting, rolling,
drawing spinning, and pressing. I am not sure it's worth the
extra money. You still have to cope with firestain. 

Richard


#16

Hi Sophie

The following is from Wikipedia: Indium is a chemical element with
chemical symbol Inand atomic number 49. This rare, soft, malleable
and easily fusible poor metal is chemically similar to aluminium or
gallium but more closely resembles zinc (zinc ores are also the
primary source of this metal).

Indium is a very soft, silvery-white, relatively rare true metal with
a bright luster. As a pure metal indium emits a high-pitched “cry”,
when it is bent. Both galliumand indium are able to wet glass. One
unusual property of indium is that its most common isotope is
slightly radioactive; it very slowly decays by beta emission to tin.
This radioactivity is not considered hazardous, mainly because its
half-life is 4.41C3. 1014 years, four orders of magnitude larger than
the age of the universe and nearly 50,000 times longer than that of
natural thorium. Unlike its period 5 neighbor cadmium, indium is not
a notorious cumulative poison.

The first large-scale application for indium was as a coating for
bearings in high-performance aircraft engines during World War II.
Afterwards, production gradually increased as new uses were found in
fusible alloys, solders, andelectronics.

These are just a few selections of the write up pertinent to your
questions. Please check it out for more Also Google for
further info.

Karen Bahr
Karen’s Artworx