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Using sterling or Argentium silver


#1

My question is do you all prefer using Argentium silver over
sterling? I am hearing from you that it doesn’t tarnish? Also,
where do you get a stamp for marking? I have been in the retail
industry for many years but am home with my children now doing fine
art jewelry and loving it. I bought a rhodium plater some time ago
for my sterling although I haven’t used it yet due to the chemicals.
Trying to set up an area in a shed to do toxic work at the present,
but in the trade, most silver is rhodium plated. That is why I
purchased the system. People have a stigma that sterling is "real"
silver and it will take time to educate the public on the Argentium.
Do you all suggest that I switch over to Argentium- have you had good
luck and a good reception to it from the public? Please let me know
what you think, if you will. I would like input before I invest in
something new. Thank you for your time and I
love reading your posts! Bye for now, Stephanie Swanson


#2
    do you all prefer using Argentium silver over sterling? 

So far, yes. I’m still getting acquainted with it, but it is a
marvelous material.

    I am hearing from you that it doesn't tarnish?  Also, where do
you get a stamp for marking? 

Any “.925” or “Sterling” stamp will suffice.

    People have a stigma that sterling is "real" silver and it will
take time to educate the public on the Argentium. 

Any material that consists of 925 parts of fine silver in 1,000 is
sterling. Although copper has been the traditionally used as the
other 75 parts, it can be anything you wish. Argentium Sterling
silver IS sterling in every sense of the word. The only education
your public needs is about its’ resistance to tarnish.

        Do you all suggest that I switch over to Argentium- have
you had good luck and a good reception to it from the public? 
Please let me know what you think, if you will. I would like input
before I invest in something new. 

Working in another person’s retail store, I have less and less time
to work on my own - especially since I bring home lapidary and other
work from the store. However, the few pieces I’ve offered to my
personal clientele have been very well received. I probably won’t
bother introducing it to the retail store very soon, though. Mainly
because the customers there are just too snobby to buy "mere silver."
Most want platinum or white gold, with the odd client wanting the
more traditional yellow gold, and that in at least 18 karat. I’ll
never understand why these snobs want grayish platinum and yellowish
white gold that has been rhodium-plated to look like silver, yet they
don’t want the silver, itself! That being said, Argentium isn’t so
expensive that it becomes some kind of huge investment. Apart from a
couple of new buffs and files (I suggest using separate tools for
working Argentium Sterling to prevent minor cross-contamination), you
don’t really need much. The material itself isn’t cost prohibitive,
so try making a few pieces with it and see for yourself.

If there were 8 more hours in the day, I’d likely work them to bring
some Argentium pieces into the retail store, but I barely have time
to contribute to fabrication, much less the educational case signs,
cards, etc., to help the customer understand why they should consider
this new product. For now, the retail store customer in my
neighborhood thinks ANY kind of silver is “too cheap.” But these are
the same people who think that Rolex watches are the pinnacle of
style. Go figure.

James in SoFl


#3
    People have a stigma that sterling is "real" silver and it will
take time to educate the public on the Argentium. 

I’ve had no problem with this, since Argentium IS “real sterling”

  • its just real sterling that doesn’t tarnish.

Sojourner


#4

Hello Stephanie, I’ve sized one ring with rhodium plating - it was
awful! I don’t touch them now unless the customer understands that
the shiney finish will be ruined and is also willing to pay the
extra compensation for time spent cleaning up the mess. Rhodium
plated silver is a job for someone else!

You won’t need to plate A.925 to prevent tarnish. You will save the
cost of plating and eliminate the concern of working with a toxic.
I will be purchasing nothing but A.925 in the future and am
fervently hoping that chain and findings manufacturers will be
switching to this alloy as well. I think A.925 will rejuvinate the
holloware industry - no more tedious polishing!

Judy in Kansas