Was: Best place to buy sterling wire
Hello Teresa Perry,
I hope Cynthia Eid chimes in on all your questions about Argentium
(AS), but I’ll tackle a few.
The AS I’ve purchased came out to be maybe a dollar more/oz than
standard sterling. If you had an offer to swap weight for weight
sterling for AS, that was a deal. I think I’ll check on H&S to see
if I could do that.
Does anyone know, is it essential to use Argentium sterling
solder, or can you get away with using regular sterling solders?
You can use regular sterling solders on AS - before AS solders were
developed, there was no other option. But it’s best to limit use to
easy (medium, if you’re careful) solder because AS begins to slump
at lower temps than sterling. Frankly, I use AS solder on all
sterling. It flows nicely and the color match holds up (tarnish
resistance, ya know). I need to send all my regular sterling solders
in for refining, as I don’t use them any more.
Is there is a difference working with patinas on Argentium
Yes, it takes longer. LOS will patina AS - hotter is faster. I have
not tried for a deep black over a large surface, so cannot comment
Also interested to know if it forges as well as Sterling; as in
raising, as well as wire forging and such. I imagine the
crystalline structure would be somewhat different, but is it so
different to make any difference in, say, how often you anneal?
No experience in raising AS - Cynthia seems to have no trouble
though. AS does not work harden as quickly as sterling, so need to
anneal is less frequent.
Is there the same firescale issues, can you raise the fine silver
layer like you can with Sterling depletion guilding?
The beauty of AS is that there is NO firescale - no need to deplete
for a fine silver surface.
Can you enamel on Argentium?
No experience here.
How well does it take Keum Boo?
No experience here, but I have seen AS pieces with Keum Boo
Hope that helps. Trying not to tread on the input from those more
experienced than I!
Judy in Kansas, where it promises to be a lovely day, but dampish
tomorrow. Fall has fell.