Was wondering about the impact of NOT heat hardening pieces cast
in Argentium. Does this affect either the appearance or the
strength of the piece? (The designs involve heavy cast bezels which
are work hardened during setting...my newbie guess, anyway.) Also,
best polishing compounds?
My apologies about the delay in response—I’ve been teaching in
Alaska—two courses: Argentium Silver and Shell Forming (Synclastic
and Anticlastic Hammer Forming) Great people here, in a beautiful
Not heat hardening affects the strength of AS, but not as much as if
the piece were not cast. Air cooling the casting hardens the AS,
though I do not know how hard it is compared to heat hardened
(perhaps Charles Allenden can tell us?)
The appearance is no different if the piece is heat hardened or not.
I tend to use a brass brush finish (using soapy water as a
lubricant) so I am not an expert on polishing compounds. I use a
water-based tripoli and red or black rouge.
For added tarnish resistance, any heat increases the activity of the
germanium, creating more germanium oxide surface. It would also be
good to use a product containing thiol, such as Goddards Long Shine
Silver Cloth or liquid polish.
I hope this is helpful!