Argentium has had a lot of press and good P.R., so the manufacturers
and retailers really got the word out on that metal.
The other sterling alloys have not had anywhere near the attention
Unfortunately, Argentium has that little problem with being very
brittle when hot. The other alloys I personally have experience with,
the S57NA and the S88 sterlings, do not have this problem. There is
no brittleness when hot, just like traditional sterling.
Firecoating with flux is a good idea with these new alloys, but they
don’t seem to have anywhere near the fire scale issues traditional
copper-alloyed sterling has.
In short, there is NO difference that I can find between how these
new sterling alloys and traditional sterlings perform. They would
seem to be almost identical, but the newer alloys are so much cleaner
to work with, cast without needing pickling, and finished work stays
much brighter longer, without the severe tarnishing issues
traditional sterling suffers from.
So to infer that working with these new sterling alloys require some
kind of new soldering technique, new acids, or whatever, just don’t
seem to be true, in my experience. Fuse’s the same, too. Whatever you
do with traditional sterling, you do the same with these new alloys.
Anyone out there have good or bad experiences with these new alloys?