I’ve been making quite a lot of cufflinks recently, experimenting
with etching to create my designs. I decided to try Argentium
sterling for one particular pair, which involved me etching a
"Spitfire" aeroplane design into the silver, then saw piercing it out
and fusing it onto another piece of Argentium sheet to which I’d
given a hammered texture. I’ll blog about it later hopefully.
Incidentally, it etched beautifully with ferric nitrate. I had pieces
of standard sterling, Britannia sterling and Argentium sterling (all
from Cookson’s). The Argentium seemed to produce the best etch out of
I’m MEGA-impressed with how easy it is to fuse, and how there’s no
firestain whatsoever!!! I just used flux for the joint and any
discolouration was easily removed in the pickle. I successfully
hardened it in my domestic oven after polishing, then removed any
discolouration with pickle.
The only thing I found challenging, was that it didn’t seem to want
to take a polish as readily as standard sterling. Presumably, this is
to do with the fact that a layer of germanium has been brought to the
surface whilst being heated, which was then oxidised to germanium
oxide which is harder than the sterling surface would normally be.
Is there a polishing compound which anyone can recommend for
polishing Argentium to a high shine?
I’ll definitely be using Argentium on a regular basis now, and hope
that my supplier starts stocking more products very soon!