Personally I like silver itself (and sterling). The whiteness is
incomparable. I have seen that there are many anti-tarnish silver
alloys in the patents. Several use Pd/Ag (which love each other),
also Pt and Au. Some use Ti, Nb, Ta, and other exotics. Alot of
these are really old patents, from like the '30s. By the way, if Pd
is so hard to work with, how did they make so many rings with it
back in the '20s and '30s, using torches in many cases? Different
quality standards? Early patents for Pd melting with induction I did
not see until late '30s/early '40s.
One alloy I have seen not much work for is ruthenium and silver.
Have any of you tried mixing the two? I know the melting points are
way, way different and the Ru is close-packed hexagonal while Ag is
face-centered cubic, so many people just assume they are totally
insoluble, but the Ag-Ru phase diagram indicates some limited
solubility of Ru in Ag with the presence of a eutectic at about 3.1%
Ru in Ag. I myself have put about 5% Ru in Ag by melting the Ru
first, and adding molten Ag to it, allowing the two to mix for some
time. Borax seemed to limit the gas absorption in the Ru if applied
liberally just as the Ru melts.
I say this because a ring I made of this seems noticably more
resistant to tarnish than other silver articles I have made. I
thought about validating this with testing with potassium sulfide
solutions. The Ru hardens the Ag some too, it appears to me. The
nice thing about Ru is that you apparently wouldn’t need to add
much, and it isn’t that expensive right now. Ru is less than half
the cost of palladium right now.
Any other experiences?