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Tarnish free silver or Why Knock Tarnish


#1

Tarnish Free Silver.
Or
Why Knock Tarnish.

There ain’t no such beast. There is not likely to be such a beast,
certainly not in the short term.

There is and has been for a long time a lot of research aimed at
finding the answer but don’t hold your breath waiting. Even fine
silver tarnishes. Sulphur is the culprit. Remove sulphur from the
atmosphere surrounding silver and you will probably remove 90% of
the possibility of tarnish on silver.

Why worry about tarnish, accept it, the reason to have a nice piece
of silver plate or hollowware is for the beauty of the piece, the
skill of the craftsman who made it and the precious metal from which
it is made. The fact that it will tarnish in time gives the owner the
opportunity to handle and admire the work of art.

There is a fundamental joy in caressing such a piece whilst removing
the tarnish with a soft cloth somewhat akin to running your hands
over a beautiful smooth form.

Instead of burning our brains with the so called problem of tarnish.
Why not sell the fact that the silver appreciator is buying a piece
that is tactilely pleasing and needs to be carefully attended to and
nurtured by rubbing with a soft cloth at certain intervals for the
good of the piece and also to feel good themselves.

If the desire is to have a piece that sits on the shelf without
tarnishing that piece can be electroplated or made in another metal
such as stainless steel.

The beauty of silver is then lost as well as the appreciation of the
handling and fondling of a beautiful creative work of art. However
Firestain or Firescale is a totally different subject, the bane of
the silversmith.

The removal of which has been a problem for centuries. Now with the
new Silicon and Germanium containing alloys available, silversmiths
and jewellers are able to make their pieces without the problem of
having to polish and re-polish to remove the associated nasty black
underlying stain.

Of course these new alloys, although still sterling silver, are not
the simple binary alloys comprising 92.5 Ag, 7.5 Cu that
silversmiths have used for the last several hundred years.

Consequently they do not have exactly the same properties eg.
Melting point, hardness, tensile strength etc. But they have been
carefully formulated to give as close to the same parameters as
standard sterling silver as possible in order that the silversmith/
jeweller should need to alter their working styles as little as
possible.

However it may be found some small compromises need to be made. It
will be found after a little practice working these alloys that in
spite of the small additional premium paid for them the saving in
finishing time and anguish is more than made up for. The resultant
silverware is whiter and is tarnish resistant to the degree that it
will take longer to attain the same degree of tarnish in the same
environment. In fact I go so far as to say, if you are a silver
worker, it is costing you money not to use them.

Tony Eccles. 2003


#2

Hi, I have a question about non tarnish sterling…can it be
purchased in sheet and wire form, or only as casting grains? Thanks,
Mary Ann Archer


#3
Hi, I have a question about non tarnish sterling......can it be
purchased in sheet and wire form, or only as casting grains?
Thanks, Mary Ann Archer 

Mary, I presume you mean firescale free silver. We hold patents in
Europe and Australia with patent pending in the United States for
firescale free silver. This is more tarnish resistant than standard
sterling silver but there is no tarnish free sterling silver at
present. Currently there is no precious metals supplier in the United
states making firescale free sheet and wire, however we are
negotiating with a manufacturer there to make and supply our G7 or
G31 Bright Sterling firescale free silver alloys. As soon as
negotiations are finalised we will let you know your local source. We
can supply sheet and wire from Australia please let us know your
requirements. Email, Pam Wright, mail@apecs.com.au Regards, Tony Eccles


#4

What is the hardness of your wrought firestain free alloys as
annealed and work hardened? It is my understanding that the
firestain free alloys are softer than silver copper alloy sterling
and much closer to fine silver in hardness.

Jim


#5
        What is the hardness of your wrought firestain free alloys
as annealed and work hardened? It is my understanding that the
firestain free alloys  are softer than silver copper alloy sterling
and much closer to fine silver in hardness. 

Jim, Our firestain free (Bright) sterling silver alloys have been
developed to have a hardness as near as possible to standard
sterling silver. They are marginally softer in the annealed state,
harden quicker and are harder at a 75% worked stage than standard
sterling silver. They are also heat treatable, that is, can be
hardened from the annealed state.

A hardness graph, which will show they are not anywhere near as soft
as fine silver, also a solution treatment table and other
can be found at www.apecs.com.au /products/bright
silver. Tony Eccles.