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Mixing Sterling and Argentium

Orchid Metal Guru’s:

I have a bracelet design that I want to do in argentium for its
ability not to tarnish. But this same bracelet design requires some
different size tubes in fairly large diameters (15mm+). Its a
production piece that in the past I have done with sterling silver
tubing. I can’t find argentium tubing large enough. I really really
don’t want to make a bunch of tube from argentium as its so labor
intensive. I need 3-4 different sizes.

What do you think about mixing the silver tubes with the argentium
rest-of-the-bracelet? Do you see any problems with this?


Carla, I do this often with a necklace I make that requires tubing to
be soldered onto A/S sections. I find that I can get heat scale right
around the solder joint. As to why this happens I will leave it to
others who know the chemistry better than I but I still would use the
combination as the heat scale is much less using the A/S than regular
sterling. Maybe a change in flux, I use paste flux for this soldering
operation, would help.

Sam Patania, Tucson

Hi Carla,

There is no technical problem with mixing Argentium Silver with
traditional sterling. Simply avoid using traditional hard silver
solder, which has a melting temperature close to the melting temp. of
AS. You can do everything else as you would if the piece were
completely made of AS.

How many bracelets are you going to make? I suggest that before you
purchase the tubing in traditional sterling, you approach your
supplier and let them know how much tubing you would be buying, if
they would stock what you need in AS. I think that you might find
that the supplier might be responsive to working with you on that.
The last time I checked, G & S at had the most AS
tubing in stock, so you might start with them, but I also find Rio
Grande, Hauser and Miller, Allcraft, and Stuller to all be companies
that are very customer-oriented. I think it would be worthwhile to
ask them to consider stocking larger tubing sizes. I am sure that
you are not the only one interested. You can tell them that I, for
one, would be glad to buy a foot or two of each new size they stock!
If you announce your successful persuasion on Orchid, the company
might sell out!

Best wishes,
Cynthia Eid