Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Tarnish free silver

With regards to the recent article about tarnish free silver
developed in the UK, I have heard a couple rumors that I would love
any of you to comment on. One: the product may not meet US food &
drug standards for use in tableware; and Two: it’s too soft to make
jewelry with! Any comments? Would also like to hear any other
opinions or uses of the material. This will be used in
an article I am writing for the Washington Guild of Goldsmiths
newsletter. Thanks.

Dina Weavers

Hi, Ive been using a tarnish free silver supplied by Williams Gold in
Ontario Canada. It is harder to forge, and I cant melt a ball on the
end of a piece of wire. It also has a higher melting point. karen in

Dear Dina I am going to publish the technical details of Bright
sterling silver in the next few days. As I have become a distributor
for this fabulous silver product. Kindest Regards Brian Saynor BA (Hons)

Metalwork & Jewellery Design
and Multi-Media Artist
Tel: 07989 386550

On the subject of tarnish-free silver, I was wondering if there is a
liquid or wax product that can be applied to pieces that would
eliminate or reduce the occurance of tarnishing? There are some
manufactured chains that are coated with some type of solution that
claim to be tarish-free. Does anyone have ideas about this?

Thanks, Rebecca.

Hi, Dina. I haven’t read the article; haven’t heard of such a
product, but can’t help thinking of two tangents: I was recently
reading up on early Taxco (Mexico–Spratling etc…) silver jewellery.
They used practically pure silver in the beginning, and their
customers LOVED it–constantly commenting that the pieces never
tarnished. Of course, the pieces were very soft–too soft, really,
and eventually 925 became the norm. The other offshoot thought is
about how pure, antibiotic, healing silver is considered to be in the
human body. In Mexico one of the leading water disinfectants (little
drops, available everywhere) is pure colloidal silver. Just as the
spicing traditions of many cultures were initiated by the need to
preserve/disinfect perishable foods, the tradition of silver
utensils, goblets, water pitchers & so on is also rooted in an age-old
understanding of silver’s beneficial qualities. So what on EARTH have
they alloyed in there to make it unsafe to eat with??? [Geeze,
they’ll let us buy an entire kitchen suite in aluminum; one can still
buy lead-laced pottery…] Or, is it something in the way its
treated–ie, like cyannide is used for electroforming?? I’m really
intrigued by this. (Ooo–another offshoot: the last time they thought
they’d accomplished this feat, they ended up glopping near-unremovable
laquer all over some of the world’s most exquisite museum quality
holloware… which proved a highly effective method for sealing IN the
tarnish which eventually formed beneath the laquer. Any new thoughts
on the mousetrap, anyone?)

----Hi All Tarnish free silver contains 2% Germamium and is made by
Thessco in Sheffield here in England. I have the safety data sheets ,
but these do not help much. The Germanium forms a white oxide film on
the surface of the silver. I have not used this material (it costs 15%
more than standard silver)and have not found any other silver workers
who have. It as a lower melting point than standard some 20dg C and
holds its heat much longer , when heating the surface colour is
different than standard ,so it is much easier to over heat. I posted
about the casting of this material some weeks ago but got no replies
Regards David Sheard

I have recently started using Tarnish free silver or Germanium silver
or = “Bright sterling silver” as it is being marketed. It is a little
softer = when annealed than standard sterling silver but hardens up
nicely after = working. It is not fully understood yet but it is also
reputed to harden after an hour or so in a very hot domestic oven. I
have not tried this myself so I can not yet comment.

As to the US food and drug standards, who knows what they might
decide. I know that the silver is undergoing tests for ISO 8442
certification, which is an internationally recognised standard for
materials safety. It is interesting to note that there is alot of
scaremongering with regard to germanium, perhaps it is something to
do with how the name sounds…a little to much like Uranium or Germ or
a certain well known plant.

Germanium is commonly found in many day to day materials. In Japan
they use it in the production of P.E.T. bottles for mineral water and
coke. They use Germanium because they absolutely ban the use of
Antimony trioxide which has been found to leach into the contents of
western produced bottles. Germanium is found in American Oats,
Korean Ginsing, Baked beans and in Tined tuna at 3 ppm. The Korean
ginsings germanium content is actively promoted. It is also known in
Japan as a health suppliment. The water at Lourds is reputed to have
a germanium content and it’s also present in polyester and Gold
dental alloys in order to harden them.

In Data taken from the Health and Safety Document EH40/98 (UK)
regarding Occupational exposure limits Silver is 6 times more likely
to kill you than germanium.

Eagle Pitcher is the US company that has been involved with Germanium
since the start and they have nothing to report regarding toxic
effects of Germanium in it’s pure form.

However I understand that the Germanium Compound GE0 132 has been
banned in the US but as this is a compound and not a metal it has no
bearing on the subject of the Germanium content of the bright silver

In short…I guess it’s here to stay and coming your way soon. I love
the thought that I will most likely never have to buy a cyanide
stripping unit and worry that my silver jewellery will tarnish in the
shop window before it is ever sold.

If you need any more specific for your article please
feel free to contact me. yours sincerely. glenn campbell.