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
There are two kinds of heating:
-20 min. at 250 F. to simply increase the germanium oxide layer on
-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.