Just to confirm Jim's comment about hot forging sterling silver being
a risky operation. With a previous employer we manufactured sterling
silver blanks for cutlery manufacture by hand forging. The billets
from which these cutlery blanks were fabricated were always produced
from virgin materials where we had analysed for any residual
impurities that may cause cracking problems and we used an
alternative deoxidising technique rather than copper-phosphorus.
Even with these controls we still had some quality issues however
these were mainly due to poor torch annealing techniques during the
hand forging process.