I posted that you needed to be a silversmith to use Argentium.
This may have been misinterpreted that Argentium is hard to use.
That is not what I meant.
I meant you need training to understand how the Argentium is worked.
But this is the same for all metals.
Argentium is easier to work than sterling silver. But you work it
differently that is all. There is quality available from
Argentium International and Cynthia Eid. Google them.
If you try to work Argentium like sterling you will have problems,
same as if you try to work titanium like sterling you will have
But if you work Argentium like Argentium then you will have no
You will be surprised how easy it is to use.
I am writing about Argentium because it is new to Australia and is a
great advance for working in silver, no firescale is just the start.
I have worked in sterling and fine silver for 25 years and so writing
about Argentium is a heads up for silver workers in Australia.
To recap as to why I like Argentium over sterling.
Takes much longer to work harden than sterling
Faster to clean up than sterling
Polishes faster and to a higher shine than sterling
It is very white whiter than any other precious metal
It is easier to use.
And my customers love the look of Argentium even though I charge 40%
more than for the same piece in sterling. Except for reticulated
pieces, Argentium does not reticulate well, all my silver stock will
So if you want a better metal than sterling try Argentium. I do not
have access to the other new silver alloys so I cannot comment on
them although people on Orchid have found them to be excellent. If you
are in Australia order some Argentium from A & E metals if you follow
the directions for Argentium you will really enjoy it. And can get an
edge over mass produced imports. And increase your profits.
all the best
As I currently have an ample supply of sterling sheet and wire I
havenot had a need to get any argentium. However, I do use the de-ox
casting grain made by Hoover and Strong, and love it. I have been
told it is similar to argentium. No tarnish, and casts beautifully.
Only difference between casting De-ox and sterling is that with
De-ox one waits 20 minutes before quenching.
What I particularly like is that it is so malleable. I make a lot of
rings, and when a customer wants one that is too tight, I get out my
mandrel, and enlarge it so that it is comfortable to wear. Of
course, anticipating that I may have to be doing this, I make the
shanks rather heavy, so that they can be modified without weakening
the ring. I have never had problems with cracking of the silver. It
just moves beautifully when hammered.
I am willing to pay the extra cost for the non=tarnishing, excellent
casting properties, and malleability of the de-ox. Alma
I make mobius rings as a bread and butter seller. I use 4 x 2 mm
When I started making them in Argentium I had 7 in stock in
I made 9 in Argentium. I now have 4 in sterling and one in
The Argentium costs me about 10% more than sterling. But only one
anneal as opposed to 2 for sterling. Clean up with 1200 grit not 600
then 1200 for sterling.
Polish with hyfin no tripoli needed as for sterling. Metal cost is
not the point as labour is the bigger cost.
I save so much time with Argentium that the 10% extra cost is
nothing in the process.
So I can sell these rings for the same price as the sterling.
Why did Argentium out sell sterling? Just looks better. The
customers like the low tarnish as well.
Try this metal, but google the instructions for use it works a bit
different from sterling but that is not a problem.
all the best
One thing I forgot to mention, when polishing Argentium does not heat
up as fast as sterling so I can polish a ring completely without
needing a break to let the metal cool down. Before Argentium I had a
number of items to polish and would heat one up and then change to
the next piece to let the first one cool down. Think polishing 5 to 10
rings in a polishing cycle. I mean fast production polishing.
Now I do a lot of polishing so my heat pain receptors have turned
off to a large degree.
But sterling gets to the point that I do need to let it cool down,
as I am tripoling off firescale, where as Argentium does not get to
that point of heat. Because it has no firescale.
Just another reason why Argentium is superior.
Now if you are a hobby person who does not have production needs to
work fast this is probably irrelevant. But if you need to push the
metal through to get the products finished this is a great advantage.
I have spoken to a few silversmiths in Australia about Argentium and
like me they had heard many negative comments about how hard it is to
use. But when I explained the differences they could see how easy it
is to use. And so will be ordering Argentium for their next order.
When I have shown finished pieces of Argentium to silver workers
(small production hobby workers who make for the love of it) and
silversmiths (professional producers who make for a living) they get
very excited at the quality of finish over sterling. If you place a
piece of Argentium next to a piece of sterling the Argentium looks
So I would encourage all who work in silver in Australia to order
some Argentium from A & E the only Australian producers and do your
research from Argentium International and Cynthia Eid. Your silver
working will change for the better. Also Palloys will soon start to
cast in Argentium so no firescale on your castings.
Hey I get nothing from A & E metals or Palloys I am just posting
about Argentium to further the trade and the enjoyment of those who
work in silver.
Today I was reminded how 2 months ago I said I would never touch
Argentium as I thought it was just advertising BS. But it became
available in Australia so I did some research and bought some still
thinking this is BS. How wrong was I? All they say about it is true.
I was very surprised. Because as a traditionally trained silversmith
I thought I had to live with firescale and it is a real pain. Because
on some pieces in sterling it is unavoidable.
Never to old to learn I was wrong and so pleased I was.
all the best
I am so thrilled with all the Argentium posts, because I absolutely
love it and switched over to AS about 4 months ago.
However, I found out some interesting this morning and
wanted to share and get any responses to this issue.
When I started with AS I bought and used "My T" Flux, because it was
suggested by Rhonda Coryell. However, every so often I used "Handi
flux" for one reason or another and it worked fine, so I didn't
worry about it.
Awhile back I posted that some of my pieces were turning a yellow
coppery color, no one responded to that post, so I figured no one
else was having that problem. In my Gallery we also carry some
locally made lotions with testers, so I thought it might be that, but
some testing showed otherwise. I do use steel wool and I know it has
some oil in it, so I thought maybe it could be from that. I use
separate files etc.
It has since seemed to stop, and alas just this morning I was going
over some AS that I had downloaded awhile back and there
was one short paragraph that gave three fluxes to use with AS, "My T
flux" was one of them. Then it said don't use "Handi flux", because
it may stain the Argentium.
Has anyone had this problem? Could that be what happened to my
It's happened to me too. Use distilled water in your pickle and to
Our water table is down and our well water is full of minerals. I
have a whole house filter and a water softener and I still have a lot
of minerals in the water. Good luck.
I also use distilled water in my hard soldering paste flux for the
Thank you Barbara, I will get some distilled water, It couldn't hurt
to be using that anyway right (-: Also probably better to use in
tumbling as well Although I did read somewhere that you shouldn't use
reverse osmosis water with AS ?
I don't know about RO water, I have softners and whole house
filters, and for years that worked fine. It is only recently I have
gone to distilled water, because of the mineral content of my well
water. On the plus side, maybe I don't need calcium pills any more.
Thank you again. Boy I can relate to the calcium Pills