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Silver changes at stuller's


#1

Hello, we recently had a problem with silver sheet that we purchased
at Stuller’s. We worked it in the traditional way and it began to
crack…I t was acting like it was Argentium. So, one of my colleges
called Stuller’s to inquire thinking that they had accidently
switched our order. She was told that all of the Sterling Silver was
being changed over to an alloy they are calling Sterlium [?]. During
a longer conversation the sales associate admitted that it was an
Argentium like alloy. So, it must be treated the same way as one
treats argentium [ no quenching so instance]. So, I thought that
you all might be interested to know this, be prepared to work with
this new alloy in the same way as you would argentium. I personally
think that Sterling Silver is a great metal and have no desire to
relearn techniques to accomodate this alloy or Argentium, [when it
ain’t broke don’t fix it]. It is so confusing to have more than one
ss alloy in the shop [we do have one jeweler who uses Argentium here
but she is very ornganized and keeps her metal out of the standard
stream of projects]. We now are buying Sterling Silver from a
different vendor, So, I just wanted you to all know what was up in
case your projects start going awry. They had labeled the bags of
metal we recieved as Ster. so we thought that we had gotten
sterling. Has anyone else had these issues unawares?

Dennis


#2
They had labeled the bags of metal we recieved as Ster. so we
thought that we had gotten sterling. 

Not to nitpick, but their alloy IS sterling silver. It’s just not the
standard version with only copper as the alloy. Sterling silver
specifies only that the silver content of the alloy be 92.5 percent
silver. It says nothing about what the other 7.5 percent needs to
be. In the same way, when you buy a bag of 14K casting grain, all you
know from that label is the gold content. 14K by itself tells you
nothing about what color, alloy variants, deoxidizers, etc. Any gold
alloy with that gold content can be labeled 14K, just as any silver
alloy with 92.5 percent silver can be labeled sterling silver (at
least here in the U.S., but so far as I know, it’s pretty much
universal. Is there a country that demands the alloy to be only
copper in order to call it sterling? )

Peter Rowe


#3

That’s quite interesting Dennis - did they say that it was .925 or
higher?

Was the price approximately the same as previous orders for sterling
silver? I agree, confusing to have more than one alloy in a shop, so
I try to keep traditional sterling out :wink: I’m a huge fan of Argentium
and have learnt not to quench when red hot (can absolutely quench
after that). Thanks for sharing this info, I can absolutely imagine
how disappointing/frustrating to have received a product that you
were not expecting!

Ros


#4

When I ordered from Stuller today, sterling and sterlium were both
options and had slightly different prices. Sterlium is at least a
925. I mix argentium and sterling (for lack of better name to
differentiate) and have no problems. You can not get all findings in
argentium and it does not work that different than sterling. I have
not had problems with argentium hot quenching, although I started
avoiding it after having a cavity (12 teeth) problem (I think it was
cause I worked in a poorly ventilated shop where we hot quenched). I
never quenched any metals red hot, though…

Melissa


#5

Hello, Thanks for the point that the silver is in fact still sterling
that is a valid point. However, it is not the alloy that they were
selling previously and they didn’t imform us or anyone else for that
matter [according to the sales rep] that they were discontinuing the
old standard alloy. Things like that can and do screw up a stores
production methods, scheduals, day and a client’s happiness. I really
don’t pay for the metals where I work so I don’t know if the metal is
the same price or not. Who could tell now a days when the prices of
metal change daily. We have three bench jeweler’s here that work in
fabrication, one loves argentium the other two not so much. All of
these changes in alloys also create a problem in the repair
department. It is becoming a guessing game as to what one can do to
repair something. These are interesting times to live and work. Well

good luck, Dennis


#6

Dennis:

Thank you!! for sharing. I use traditional sterling because I patina
a lot. I’d be totally screwed if I had some of this sterling in an
job and found out it was different. Stuller needs to tell people of
the change.

With a nod to Peter R being correct it’s still sterling…but its
not our mother’s sterling and we need to be told that on ordering.

C


#7
I'd be totally screwed if I had some of this sterling in an job and
found out it was different. Stuller needs to tell people of the
change. With a nod to Peter R being correct it's still
sterling...but its not our mother's sterling and we need to be told
that on ordering. 

I looked at the Stuller website and on the page for silver sheet,
they list Argentium on the opening page, there is a drop down box
with fine silver, sterling and sterlium.

Seems you have four choices. I highly doubt that Stuller would
switch any product as has been mentioned.

We need to be sure of facts before spreading mis-Stuller
is one of the companies that has the highest integrity and I doubt
they are going to suddenly start tarnishing (pun intended) their
reputation by substituting products without informing the customer. I
will check tomorrow.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co


#8

There is a great source of sterling silver and you always know
exactly what are you getting. Take a trip to your local numismatic
store. They always have coins that do not have any numismatic value,
but are perfectly good to be rolled into sheet. Offer a bit more than
a refiner and you have a reliable source of metal. American silver
coinage is very stable in this respect.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#9

I think any material that is sold needs to be identified as to what
it is, and not mis-represented in any way.

That being said, I think traditional sterling should never be
confused with more advanced sterling alloys, like Sterlium Plus, that
is for sure.

Can I assume that those of you who are expressing fears about the
performance of Sterlium Plus or any of the other non-copper alloys
have actually worked with them?? Have you personally found the
Sterlium Plus or S57NA or S88 sterling alloys to perform worse than
traditional sterling? Does Sterlium Plus not oxidize as well as
copper alloyed sterling? My experience with years of work with both
the S88 and S57NA alloy sterlings have shown them to work easier than
traditional sterling, with far less fire scale issues, take deep dark
oxidation when required, and are quite easy to draw or roll. I don’t
recommend copper alloyed sterling to my students anymore because of
the many problems inherent in the metal. In short, the new sterling
alloys we now use make a superior product in my experience.

I have just ordered 2 ounces of Sterlium Plus casting grain, which I
will experiment with when it arrives. I want to see for myself how it
compares with other sterlings. How would one know, otherwise?

Jay Whaley


#10

Hi Dennis,

I apologize for the inconvenience you’re experiencing. And I assure
you, I will follow-up with the appropriate team members here at
Stuller and we will remedy this issue as swiftly as possible. In the
meantime, if you have any additional questions or concerns, please
contact Dottie Lukaszeski, our Metals Manager at ext. 396.

Thanks so much!
Randi Bourg
Stuller Marketing


#11

Several weeks ago, Stuller posted a dicounted sale price for
Argentium on their website. I too inquired about the difference and
why would it cost less in today’s market.

I was told that Stuller will no longer be carrying Argentium, at
least not under that name. They now have their own product, own
formula, if you will, and call it Sterilium.

If you like using Argentium, it was a great buy.

Mary Ann Archer
maryannarcher.com


#12

Good Morning! As mentioned previously, we’d like to apologize for any
inconvenience that any of you might be experiencing with Sterlium
Plus’. Our decision to offer this new sterling silver alloy wasn’t
taken lightly or without our customers in mind. We’ve tested both
internally and externally and have concluded that, in our opinion,
Sterlium Plus is a more superior sterling silver than what is being
offered in the industry today. The alloy’s benefits include: being
more tarnish resistant, maintaining a bright, white finish, is fire
scale free and is extremely user-friendly due to its ability to work
easily with casting and rolling fabrication processes. Sterlium Plus
is manufactured in the USA and uses re-definedmetals. If you have
any further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact
me.

Sincerely,
Dottie Lukaszeski
Fabricated Metals Product Manager


#13

Dottie,

Thank you for this explanation. My preference has been to use
traditional sterling until something comes along that is as easy to
use as sterling but with additional benefits such as being fire scale
free.

I would be open to a conference call video demonstration. Is there
one being scheduled?

Best regards,
MA