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Daily Wire Tip June 1: Argentium Wire
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
June 01, 2010
I’m looking for a silver wire won’t tarnish, but shine brightly, about 26-gauge, 14-gauge, or 10-gauge. I like the jewelry for sale in Swarovski stores, and I always wonder what kind of silver wire they use. It doesn’t look real, but it’s very shiny, and it won’t tarnish. I found the chain-like kind of this material, but I can’t find the wire, in the gauge I wanted. Please give some information on where can I find this wire at a good price.
Hi Lilian, yes Wire-Sculpture does carry argentium silver (also called anti-tarnish silver) in a variety of shapes and sizes. Follow this link where you can shop by shape: Argentium Wire. When anyone reaches “Gold Club Status” (details here: Gold Club) their price on everything (no matter how small an ordered quantity) is automatically 25% off! With the addition of prices lowering with quantity purchases, Wire-Sculpture is a great place to purchase wire!
Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong
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June 1, 2010 at 12:49 pm
Lillian, If you want to get it real shiny, you have to tumble it or polish it in some other fashion. Argentium is tarnish resistant and won’t tarnish as quickly as sterling, but it will tarnish over time. Fine Silver will not. But most people work with Argentium.
June 1, 2010 at 3:29 pm
Please take into consideration that items made by Swarovski in the way of findings are normally a base metal covered in a “gold” or “silver” tone as opposed to being sterling silver or gold-filled, and may have a coating on top for get that super shiny appearance, especially in the silver tone that might have a rhodium coating.
Personally I never have understood why Swarovski would not put their crystals in g.f. or s.s. settings instead of what they use. I am sure cost is a factor but I also think they would find a good market for those of us wanting the “true” items.
Anyone else shed some light on this question?
June 2, 2010 at 5:17 am
I have been using .930 Argentium (genuine brand name stuff, not just generic tarnish resistant silver) for years and have had nothing but great experiences with it. Its special formula that includes a metalloid in the place of a percentage of the traditional copper really makes it the next best thing to fine silver for tarnish resistance and it typically it’s only a couple dollars per ounce more expensive than traditional .925 sterling silver. High speed buffing brings it to a blinding shine if that’s the look you want, and the time and money I save not having to re-polish pieces that take a few shows to sell more than makes up for the original extra cost to use it. The only time I don’t use it is when I want the project to blacken or tarnish in which case I just use plain old .925 and usually a liver of sulfur technique.
June 2, 2010 at 9:09 am
Actually, tumbling argentium isn’t really a great idea. Argentium is an unstable material to start with and sometimes(not always), the germanium(the copper replacement) will react with your shot, leftover residue(sterling, copper, brass, even gold), and even the minerals in your water and it will turn dark. When it does this, you can’t polish it back out as the metal itself has changed color. If you have a special drum, shot, and distilled water that you use only for argentium, it should be much less of an issue. But it can still be an issue nonetheless. ;o)
June 3, 2010 at 2:08 am
Thanks Alastar, And that’s just one of the many reasons why I personally have never used a tumbler on jewelry!
June 2, 2010 at 1:59 pm
I have found that ARTISTIC wire is silver plated non tarnish copper core is the way to go if you want shiny but no tarnish. Keep in mind there are some disadvantages to this product since it has a coating on the wire that can sometimes fall off if you work with the wire to much. I am hoping I have not offended wire-sculpture with this reply. I am hoping you might someday carry this product as I can only find it on 3 web sites (good pricing) This wire is very pretty and shiny and inexpensive. I will say that it might down grade from fine jewelry to ? not so fine ?
June 3, 2010 at 2:06 am
Thanks Shannon, actually we do carry both silver and gold enameled copper wire, in a variety of sizes and shapes! Find them here: http://www.wire-sculpture.com/gold-and-silver-enameled-copper-wire-1.html