Silver is the most beautiful and lustrous of metals.
Argentium heralds a revolution in silver.
* Highly tarnish resistant
* Firescale free
* More versatile
What is Argentium® Silver? (pronounced ar-gen-tium)
Since ancient times the holy grail of silver users across the world has been the
elimination of tarnish. Argentium has succeeded in achieving this beyond
Argentium Silver is the most tarnish resistant silver available
today – it is available in a wide range of products, is firescale free and
whilst perfectly malleable in an annealed state, can easily be made almost twice
as hard as annealed traditional sterling silver.
The Problem with Traditional Sterling Silver
Pure silver is too soft for many applications and other elements must be added
to create a malleable product. In general, Sterling silver is 92.5% silver, and
7.5% of "something else". The vast majority of the time that "something else" is
copper although some nickel may be present in small doses, which leads to the
problem of allergic reactions, since many individuals who believe that they are
allergic to silver are actually allergic to another metal in the silver alloy
used to make their jewelry -- specifically, nickel. On top of that, the addition
of copper has two major disadvantages - tarnish and firescale.
1) Tarnish is the term given to the discoloration of metal
surfaces caused by copper’s exposure to sulphur compounds in the
2) Firescale is caused when sterling silver is heated in air for manufacturing
processes including casting and brazing. Oxygen
reacts with the copper in sterling silver to form a dark, penetrating oxide
which can be difficult and labor intensive to remove. Firescale is often masked
by plating a thin layer of silver over the surface.
Germanium – the “Magic” ingredient
Argentium Silver was invented by master silversmith, Peter Johns, during the
1990s. Professor Johns' experiments revealed that when a small amount of the
copper was replaced with the element germanium, the alloy took on highly
The patented Argentium formula, with the "Magic" ingredient
germanium, gives protection against tarnish and firescale and imparts
increased ductility, strength, durability and unique hardening properties.
Tarnish and Firescale Resistance - How does germanium protect against tarnish
and firescale? Germanium loves oxygen! Germanium in Argentium oxidizes
preferentially to the copper and silver in the presence of air, forming an
invisible protective germanium oxide surface layer. The oxide is able to
continuously replenish itself at ambient temperatures through the migration of
germanium atoms to the surface. The preferential oxidation of germanium
prevents the formation of both tarnish and firescale.
Increased Ductility and Hardness - Silver alloys are required to be soft and
malleable during forming or shaping processes; however, it is important that
finished articles are hard and durable, so that the metal is not vulnerable to
scratching, denting and deformation. Argentium Silver can be formed into
complex shapes in its fully soft condition, it can be soldered and stone set
and then by means of simple heat treatment, have its hardness substantially
increased without the risks associated with quenching.
Why purchase a Memory Pendant with Argentium® Sterling Silver?
Argentium Silver is a leader in the field of silver alloy development. The
award winning silver continues to build a reputation of excellence, with
recognition and backing from world-leading manufacturers, retailers and
Argentium Silver has been independently compared to seven leading silver
alloys and has been proven to be the most tarnish resistant silver, that is
commercially available and, even though this type of silver is 15% to 18%
higher in cost than regular silver, we feel that the benefits to our customers
make the extra expense well worth the additional cost.
** L. Huffman Studios has been honored as a "Registered Trademark Licensee" by
Argentium Silver and has the authorization to display their trademarked logo
on our web pages.
Portions of article and logo courtesy of Argentium® Silver