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Hello All, Who has an opinion on using Sterling, argentium or fine silver tubing for setting small (3mm-5mm) faceted gem stones? Why do you prefer that type of silver metal? Thank you.

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I have been using Argentium sheet metal exclusively for about 15 years. For wires and tubing, I use Argentium if I can get it in the size I need. If not, I will use sterling silver. For tubing, I see I have Argentium in some sizes and sterling silver in others. Sterling silver has more size options. I don’t notice color difference because almost all my pieces are oxidized, and brushed to what lightness I want for that piece. On a side note, for bezels, I tried Argentium bezel wire early on, but quit that, as I would so often break and crack the bezels with my pick when soldering. I went over to using Fine Silver for bezels and didn’t have a problem anymore. Sterling silver bezels are too stiff to set and burnish for me. And I use solder for sterling silver (not Argentium solder) on just the bezels to get a better color match.