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More Testimonials on Argentium Sterling


#1

Hey all Orchid readers,

Just finished my first series in Argentium Sterling and thought I’d
share some findings. Processed 65 pieces as a trial run.

  1. Wow! What a bright color! No nitric acid and water was needed.
    Ran them through the vibratory tumblers and magnetic tumbler. Some
    people would think that level of shine achieved is sufficient for
    putting out on display.

  2. Polishing on the buffer was a snap. Just used tripoli and Zam for
    a glowing finish.

  3. Note for those who use a Sparkie for putting on posts. The
    Argentium sterling caused a better fusion weld for stainless posts
    than ordinary sterling. How do I know that? Usually a few to several
    posts knock off during difficult stone setting. I knocked off only
    one- due to my accidental dropping of the engravers block onto my
    lap. Ouch! And… no posts got knocked off while buffing TEENY
    earrings on the buffer. Need I say more?

  4. I used ordinary silver solder. Will try the Argentium solder when
    I use up my silver solder. I also used FIRESCOFF or Batterns liquid
    flux instead of Handy paste flux which is what I normally use for
    silver.

  5. Sagging problem. I seemed to solve that by using a softer and
    cooler flame. Also, I put a fine mesh screen ON TOP OF the regular
    soldering screen. That seemed to help too.

Enjoy!
Ruthie Cohen


#2
Just finished my first series in Argentium Sterling and thought
I'd  share some findings. Processed 65 pieces as a trial run

I’m really appreciating the conversations rolling around on
argentium. This experience/info is certainly stuff that is hard to
find anywhere else. Once a finished piece is baked at 300 degrees
for 1/2 hour to raise the germanium layer, how plastic is this outer
layer once we get to setting stones, be it prongs or bezels? Up to a
1mm transparent coating was mentioned. Would tiny cracks result?


#3
I'm really appreciating the conversations rolling around on
argentium. This experience/info is certainly stuff that is hard to
find anywhere else. Once a finished piece is baked at 300 degrees
for 1/2 hour to raise the germanium layer, how plastic is this
outer layer once we get to setting stones, be it prongs or bezels?
Up to a 1mm transparent coating was mentioned. Would tiny cracks
result? 

There are two kinds of heating:

-20 min. at 250 F. to simply increase the germanium oxide layer on
the surface

-one hour at 580 F to harden the silver, which also increases the
germanium oxide layer.

The germanium oxide layer is transparent, and highly ductile and
malleable. No problem with forming, setting, etc. However, the metal
may or may not be too hard for stone setting after hardeningeach
case would depend on the gauge of the metal and the situation. In
general, I recommend fine silver bezels, so that you can harden the
piece, and still set the bezel easily. Prongs are not usually a
problem to set even after hardening. A hardened AS prong is not as
hard as a 14K prong.

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com


#4

Hello Jaye,

Once a finished piece is baked at 300 degrees for 1/2 hour to raise
the germanium layer, how plastic is this outer layer once we get to
setting stones, be it prongs or bezels? Up to a 1mm transparent
coating was mentioned. Would tiny cracks result? 

I think you’ve got the wrong idea about the results of heat treating
AS. I don’t have any technical data on the thickness of the germanium
oxide layer but I’d bet that it would be measured in microns (one
millionth of a meter). That’s not particularly relevent to our needs
though because the primary function of that germanium oxide is to act
as a block to oxygen while the metal is being heated, thus inhibiting
the formation of firescale.

I suspect you saw that 1mm figure in one of my posts (I don’t think
I’ve seen others tossing that figure about) so I apologize if I gave
the impression that there was 1mm if transparent stuff sitting on the
surface because that is certainly not the case.

No, what I meant was that the tarnish resistance of properly treated
AS goes as deep as 1mm or more into the surface of the metal. And
that material is as “plastic” as that rest of it: there is no
discernable difference in mechanical properties between the
heat-treated surface material and the inner bulk of metal.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
Visit TouchMetal.com at http://www.touchmetal.com