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Argentium sterling silver

Argentium Sterling Silver is a modern sterling silver alloy which modifies the traditional sterling silver alloy (92.5% silver + 7.5% copper) by replacing some of the copper with a rare metallic element called germanium.

Argentium Silver is the result of research by Peter Johns at the School of Art & Design, Middlesex University. The project began in 1990 with research on the effects of germanium additions to silver alloys. Germanium was discovered to impart the following properties to sterling silver:

  • Firescale elimination
  • High tarnish resistance
  • Precipitation hardening and simple heat-hardening properties
  • Increased ductility
  • Increased thermal and electrical resistance (making alloys suitable for welding and laser forming)
  • Environmental advantages (associated with not having to remove or plate over firescale)

Many of these properties significantly affect the traditional methods of working silver. For instance the absence of firescale eliminates tedious and time-consuming steps required by the silver worker using traditional sterling silver. It also eliminates the need for plating the final product which is often done on manufactured items because of the problems introduced by firescale. Tarnish resistance is of significant importance to both silver workers and the wearer of silver jewellery.

The development of Argentium Silver has stimulated the industry to question the properties of traditional sterling silver and has prompted others to research in this field. This has resulted in a variety of new alloys being introduced into the market in recent years. Thus far field tests indicate that germanium is key since the improved properties of the patented Argentium Silver system have yet to be replicated by another element or combination of elements.

Argentium Silver is patented and trademarked by Argentium Silver Company, UK.


Traditional sterling silver has a solidus melting temperature of 1475°F (802°C) and a liquidus flow point of 1650°F (899°C). The solidus melting point of Argentium® Sterling Silver is 1410°F (766°C); the liquidus flow point is 1610°F (877°C).


  • Eid, Cynthia (September 2006). "Road Testing Argentium Sterling". Art Jewelry: 25-33.
  • (April 2006) ""Firestain - The Nemesis of the Silversmith"". The Goldsmiths' Company 'Technical Bulletin', Issue 3: 10-11.
  • Haag, Terry (February 2006). "Shine On Silver". Jewelry Arts & Lapidary Journal: 20-24.
  • Martin, Eva (2006 2006). ""Step by Step - Argentium Silver Box Clasp"". Jewelry Arts & Lapidary Journal: 36-42.
  • Edge, A. M.; V. E. Edge and J. J. Edge (2005). "Investigation on the Quality of Enamel on Germanium Silver". The Goldsmiths' Company 'Technical Bulletin', Issue 2: 8-10.
  • Eid, Cynthia (July 2005). "Argentium Sterling Silver". SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) Technical Newsletter 13.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Argentium_sterling_silver". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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