Firescale on Argentium?

Could my pickle be depositing copper ie fire-scale onto the surface of my piece if I have also used the pickle to pickel sterling soldered creations? Do you keep separate solutions of pickle for each metal of sterling, argentium and even 14 KT gold?

Are you using steel/iron tongs to pull things from the pickle?


Hello Terry
I’ve been soldering Argentium for many years. I use the same pickle (citric acid) for both standard sterling and AS, as well as for copper and other mixed metal pieces. My tongs are copper because that’s what I had always used before AS was available. Fire scale as you describe has not been a problem.

It’s a mystery. Without more details I could not hazard a guess why this is happening. Bummer for you.

Judy in Kansas, where a thrasher is singing his many songs. Lovely.

Always copper tongs

I never put any steel tools into the Rio pickle I use. Only sterling, argentium, gold. Not even copper pieces ie mixed metal. Thanks for your responses.

There are many ways to contaminate your pickle, which we use for everything except platinum which doesn’t need it. The most common contamination occurs in our studio when someone forgets and lets a clasp fall in after repairing a chain. The steel spring in the lobster clasp is the culprit in that case. Any clasp with a spring is suspect.
Neutralize your pickle and replace it. Be more careful with your new mixture, and you should be fine.
Note:Fire scale and copper deposition are two different things. A clean working pickle should fix both issues.

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