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Daily Wire Tip Apr. 28: Purity and Sensitivity with Argentium Silver
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
April 28, 2011
Good morning to everyone at Wire-Sculpture! My question is, how much silver is in Argentium silver? Is it as much as sterling silver, and has anyone ever reported having allergies to it?
-Deborah in Wenden, Arizona
Good Morning to you Deborah! A common misconception is that Argentium® is not as good or as pure as sterling silver. Like many companies in the United States, Wire-Sculpture carries anti-tarnish .930 Argentium® Silver Wire, which is 93.0% pure silver, and contains absolutely no nickel, a major culprit for those allergic to metal. And yes – Argentium is always more pure than sterling silver (92.5% silver).
Looking for the facts, I would like to quote the company who makes Argentium® itself:
- Natural Beauty: Plating is prone to wear and tear and is commonly used on silver items to give the temporary illusion of purity. Argentium is the natural colour of pure silver through and through.
- Brighter: Argentium silver is brighter than platinum, white gold and traditional sterling. It is the whitest of them all.
- Longer Lasting Shine: Argentium silver is low maintenance, easy to care for and simple to clean.
Source: “About Argentium,” Argentium.com
I have never heard of anyone reporting an allergy to Argentium, and I have personally been using Argentium since 2005.
The only caution I give my students is not to use Argentium unless they can make the project in their sleep – meaning use confident tool moves – because it work-hardens faster than sterling. It is a gorgeous product!
You can discover more about Silver and its different varieties (including Coin Silver and Fine Silver) in Mary Bailey’s article All About Silver.
Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong
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