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
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
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.
in The City of Light
Visit TouchMetal.com at http://www.touchmetal.com