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Etching argentium


#1

Hi All

I have a question in regards to Argentium. I have purchased some
sheet but have yet to use it. I was wondering if any Argentium
experts out there know how well it takes to etching, if at all. Does
sterling etch better? Thanks so much.


#2
I have a question in regards to Argentium. I have purchased some
sheet but have yet to use it. I was wondering if any Argentium
experts out there know how well it takes to etching, if at all.
Does sterling etch better? Thanks so much. 

I know you can electro etch with a 9 volt battery, and some diet
coke, on sterling, but would be interested to see if it works on Argentium.

CIA


#3

Thanks Charles but I’m wanting to know if using Nitric Acid mordant
which is used for Sterling will work on Argentium.

Carol


#4

Hi Carol,

I have etched Argentium Sterling using Ferric Nitrate. It worked
great! I added some citric acid to make it the silver version of an
Edinburgh Etch. (Citric acid makes the solution last longer, and
work more effectively, because it makes the metal precipitate out of
the solution.)

I have not had a chance yet to electro-etch AS. I expect that if you
have successfully etched traditional sterling, the same system will
work for AS.

Whatever resist you like will work fine. I cannot compare etching AS
to traditional SS, because I have not used SS since 1999, and I
started etching after my friend Karen Christians taught me in 2004.

You mention that you have not used the AS yet. Please read one of my
articles, or watch Ronda’s video, or take a workshop. It can be
surprising how differently AS heats up with a torch when annealing,
soldering, or fusing. Information will help you be more effective
and successful.

Best wishes,
Cindy
Cynthia Eid
www.cynthiaeid.com


#5

This is the first I’ve heard of this technique. Could you provide
some details about this process? I’ve been acid etching copper and
brass, but have hesitated to etch silver because it takes nitric acid
and I don’t want to deal with that level of hazard in the studio.

Jnet Kofoed


#6
Thanks Charles but I'm wanting to know if using Nitric Acid
mordant which is used for Sterling will work on Argentium. 

The other Charles (whom I like to call “Mister Argentium”), would
probably give you a good answer :slight_smile: CIA


#7

I have successfully electro-etched Argentium using cupric nitrate as
the electrolyte. It is quick and easy.

John
bijoux-de-terre.com


#8
I know you can electro etch with a 9 volt battery, and some diet
coke, on sterling, but would be interested to see if it works on
Argentium. 

Hello Charles, That sounds very interesting. Could you share the
formula with the group?

Thanks,
Lona


#9

Hi,

I electro-etch silver all the time, both fine and sterling work with
the chemical I use and I would be surprised if Argentium didn’t
also. I use cupric nitrate. You need about a cup per gallon of water.
It works really really well, and takes about 5 minutes to etch a good
clean deep pattern depending on the size and thickness of the
exposed area of metal. Someone else mentioned using coke; the reason
that works is the phosphoric acid. I used to use phosphoric acid to
etch silver but it took a long time and left the etched area pitted.
Cupric nitrate leaves a smooth clean etched area. You can pretty
much use any kind of regulated power supply to etch that can put out
about an amp or so and 5-12 volts. A colleague of mine uses an old
mobile phone charger that she cut the connector off; she split and
stripped the two wires and put little alligator clips on them.

I’ve written an online tutorial on the process at

for all who are interested.

-Mike


#10

Carol, I use nitric acid on all silver, sterling and argentium. It is
easy to get from Rio Grande. I notice that the argentium etches more
quickly than the sterling, so just keep an eye on it.

Hope this helps!
Carol