I have had no problem soldering regular sterling to Argentium (AS)
and vice versa. There are many findings and other bits that are not
available in AS, so it then becomes necessary to either fabricate the
item - such as tubing or bezel cups - or use the two alloys in the
That said, you should be aware that AS becomes ‘brittle’ when heated
to soldering temperatures. For example, I can grip regular sterling
bail with soldering tweezers, pick up a bit of solder and solder it
to a pendant; a bail of AS would break apart where the tweezers grip
it. Understanding that characteristic, you need to think a little
differently about how to set up your pieces before you solder. Also
AS tends to slump more quickly than regular sterling.
A very nice characteristic of AS is that a piece does NOT have to be
heated completely to induce solder flow. It is more like soldering
gold in that respect. I also REALLY, really like the AS solders. They
flow at a slightly lower temperature and the color match is very
good. An added benefit related to tarnish resistance is that solder
is less visible over time.
I encourage you to just do it. Keep in mind the characteristics and
you will pick up on the techniques quickly with a bit of
experimentation. (At least that’s how I learned.) The Rio Grande
website has some good info: “Working with Argentium[tm] Silver. Tips
& Procedures” By Cynthia Eid. I hope Cynthia will chime in here. If
there are any DVDs, she is likely to know.
Let us know how you fare. I’m sure you can handle this and if you
have specific questions, DO ask.
Judy in Kansas, where the termites ate heartily and now the repair
folks are busy on my house. Cursed little insects!