Beginning next quarter, my students and I are going to be
experimenting with United Precious Metal’s new alloy for sterling
that contains germanium. United’s metallurgist explained that their
new alloy has very similar tarnish and fire scale resistance to
Argentium, but supposedly has even better working characteristics. It
is supposed to be less prone to breaking when hot (soldering or
annealing). We’re anxious to work with this alloy, and see how it
performs with the rolling mill, hydraulic press, soldering, fusing,
as well as casting.
We have been using the S88 alloy for some time in our fabricated and
cast sterling, and love it. In my opinion, the S88 alloy is far
superior to copper-based traditional sterling, but I have noticed
some fire scale on flat surfaces. We are going to work with the new
S57 NA, which we’ll alloy ourselves with fine silver for the sterling
jewelry made in our studio.
My students and I will post our results working with this new alloy
on Orchid during the next few months.
I am also interested in any other experiences those out there in
Orchid-land have had with this S57 alloy.