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Hardenable vs Argentium


#1

Question has arisen: it seems like the past thread on hardenable
silver ended up equating it with Argentium. A friend is looking for
hardenable silver but not silver with germanium in it and a source
for the hardenable silver. Are the two things one in the same or are
they different? Inquiring minds would like to know! Thanks.

Eileen Schneegas
Snow Goose Designs
Washington, USA


#2
... A friend is looking for hardenable silver but not silver with
germanium in it and a source for the hardenable silver. 

Hello Eileen,

The impression I get from reading your post is that you’re thinking
of heat hardening as opposed to work hardening. This is called
precipitation hardening and it’d certainly not unique to Argentium
Sterling.

Most alloys of silver, and other precious metals, can be precip
hardened one way or another. It just comes down to whether a
particular alloy’s precip hardening process is convenient for you or
not.

For instance the heat hardening process for regular sterling is
generally accepted to be a two-step process that requires a kiln. See
James Binnion’s post

https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/heat-hardening-of-silver

for details. In fact that whole thread is worth reading, partially
because you’ll see that some folks report hardening benefits using a
simplified one-step process.

Argentium Sterling, by contrast, is easier to heat harden because you
can do it in a regular kitchen oven (at 260C/500F for 20-30 minutes)
AND you get harder metal as a result. The convenience and better
results make Argentium Sterling particularly attractive as a
candidate for precip hardening.

Just out of curiosity why does your friend not want to use “silver
with germanium in it”? Is there something we don’t know/ should know
about this?

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
www.touchmetal.com