Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Relative resistance to tarnish

Imagine arbitrarily creating a scale of resistance to tarnishing, ranging from 0 for traditional sterling to 8 for argentium.
Any thoughts on where 999 fine silver might fall on such a scale?

In our workshop in central London we regularly use weak hydrogen sulphide vapour inside a makeshift plastic tent to tarnish fine silver leaf applied as a decorative finish. It tarnishes about as fast as any of the copper alloys, including sterling, that we use (visually, at any rate). So I doubt that it would be much different from copper on your rather arbitrary scale, bearing in mind that sulphurous gases are a major airborne tarnishing agent for jewellery metals.

Thanks, Jelf0. Your experience-based observation cuts through all my fog of wishful-thinking!

I’m planning a project that, to succeed, must have the greatest possible tarnish-resistance, short of professionally applied rhodium plating.

Now my first choice would be the higher-fineness alloy of the Argentiums.

Thanks again!

I designed a .999 silver cuff that is hammered – and it has not tarnished like sterling silver – not even close. Instead it acquired a lustrous patina with slight oxidation, but again, nothing like traditional .925 sterling. Argentium has germanium I believe which contributes to less rapid oxidation than just silver and copper alloy. I have designed Argentium pieces too – and although less prone to rapid oxidation – in my opinion, the beauty of .999 silver as it ages and endures cannot be beat.