I must admit that the concerns expressed here on Orchid recently
about the use of Argentium Sterling (AS) have been rather
As much as I can appreciate the fact that getting accustomed to a new
alloy can take a little time I can’t for the life of me understand
why new users of the metal would criticize it for not being exactly
the same as other metals they have used. After all, why try something
new if the old one was what you wanted? And if you do try something
new wouldn’t you expect there to be a little transition time and
For those unfamiliar with my posts here on Orchid, and the blog at my
site, I’ll be up front about this: in my experience Argentium
Sterling silver is basically god’s gift to silver workers. I won’t
reiterate it’s benefits here because that’s another topic(s) and
they’ve been discussed elsewhere. But what I will say is that I have
found AS to be a truly superior product to work, own and sell and it
pains me to see people taking shots at it without taking the time to
get to know it. It is so unfair, and unnecessary.
This is especially true because the Argentium Sterling people have
gone out of their way to help Orchid members in any way they can.
They’ve bent over backwards to give us the we want and/or
need to get started with it and they really don’t deserve to have
their product slagged or discredited, especially for reasons that
often turn out to largely be field reports from the learning curve.
It seems to me that if someone came on and said “OMG my white gold
cracked!”, or “why can’t I solder platinum with my little butane
Microtorch?” we’d be pretty quick to tell them to do their research
and then to work with the metal in order to know what they are doing.
Argentium Sterling is, and should be, no different.
Over and above how much I enjoy working with AS and how much I
appreciate the fact that this wonderful, and --yes, I’ll say it –
revolutionary metal is available to us and our customers I can’t help
but think that the newcomers to it need to chill out a bit before
they fly off the handle in fear that they’ve been somehow hoodwinked
because AS doesn’t behave exactly like the standard sterling that
they are familiar with. Well, guess what: it behaves a little
different because IT IS a little different. Not hugely, but a little.
It behoves the student to learn from their observations rather than to
criticize their observations for being unfamiliar.
Learn those few differences of Argentium Sterling and you’ll find
yourself working with a fantastic alloy that will, I believe, change
silver working as we’ve known it. Make some stuff with it. Wear that
stuff yourself for a while. Experiment. Push. Discuss. And above
all, learn! Some of us are already well on our way. What’s keeping
If nothing else ask a silver fancying customer if they’d like silver
jewelry that tarnishes very little, very slowly, if at all and
they’ll probably tell you that they’ll take as much of that stuff as
you can offer them. I know, I’ve seen it. And if my guess is right
you will too, one way or the other.
in The City of Light