First, the turtles are not exactly pets. They are ornate box turtles
(terrapins is more accurate) and have lived in my garden for so long
that they are habituated to me. The little darlin's actually come
"running" when I call them. Since the population density exceeds
what would be normal in the wild existance, I suppliment their
diet... hence the protein from fish and venison which mimics what
they would naturally scavenge. They REALLY do like fish.
Yes, I understand that the Argentium folks are proposing a rather
stringent and pricey procedure to mark their alloy for sale. We are
on the same page regarding this approach. Although I understand their
concern for maintaining trademark control, it's a marketing error
IMHO. There is a great opportunity to enlist all the small silver
users in promoting the brand and characteristics of the alloy when
they talk to customers and on gallery displays.
Thanks for sharing the whole of the letter you received. The last
paragraph of your letter does indicate that they are considering how
to "...facilitate the use of the 'as' mark for small users in a
simple and affordable fashion." (I hope they are monitoring this
discussion and might even take part.)
Here's what I do. I stamp a piece as usual with.925 and inscribe a
sign which indicates only to me which sterling alloy was used. Note
that I'm calling it an alloy. When I describe it to a customer, I
call it a tarnish-resistant sterling and leave it at that. I'd love
to be able to call it by the brand name and stamp it that way, but I
find no name recognition among the general public. To bandy about an
unknown brand name creates confusion.
We'll just see how this shakes out, Judy in Kansas, who had a good
turn-out at last night's banquet for the turtles.