David, awhile back I got an e-mail from somebody at the University
that developed Argentium (in Great Britain) about the possibility
that one of their suppliers had mixed up Argentium and standard
sterling or fine silver.
Being by no means competent to figure out what was going on or what
I had said that made the woman think I might have received something
other than the Argentium, I passed the whole thing off to Stuller
and never heard a thing back about it.
I do know that some of my “dead soft” argentium 18g wire (all of it,
actually) was pretty durn springy for dead soft wire of any kind. I
was at a wire weaving/knotting workshop this past Monday and tried
some of the Argentium in this work. It work hardened a lot faster
than I thought it ought, but then again, as I said before, it
started out pretty hard for “dead soft”, it seemed to me. I gave a
piece of it to the guy teaching the workshop (Loren Damewood of
golden-knots.com) and he was going to work it over with his torch
and see how soft “dead soft” OUGHT to be.
I got all my Argentium from Stuller. I can’t say I’ve noticed any of
it turning black, and I’ve not had anyone come back and tell me its
turning anything green (can’t imagine where that’s coming from).
However, my volume heretofore has not exactly been real high and I’m
doing no casting whatsoever.
I’m not sure if I still have the correspondence from this woman and
she never did get back to my last question to her (asking what I’d
said to make her think I didn’t have genuine Argentium), but I’ll
try to hunt it up. If I find it, shall I forward it to you?
I’ll try to work up a ring in the finer wire I have. It’ll work
harden more than the fine silver I used before, but I’m pretty sure
I can “anneal” it in a friend’s oven and keep working it until I
finish a ring. I’ll wear that daily as an experiment to see if I can
get anything to turn green.
It’s not casting, but now I’m curious about what’s going on, and
whether it’ll happen with stock metal.