Argentium Sterling Silver is the most important advancement in silver to-date, and my personal favorite white metal to work with. I have been using Argentium Silver wire since it became available in 2005.
Living in a high-tarnish area of the United States, I have left a finished piece of Argentium Silver jewelry sit on a shelf for a year. The end result was a slight blonde color in places that I easily wiped clean with a piece of a t-shirt! In contrast, my sterling silver pieces gather black tarnish in a matter of weeks. Research shows that by using an ionic cleaner or simply using a polishing cloth will keep your Argentium Silver sparkling for years to come.
Last year I was interviewed about my use of Argentium wire in my jewelry designs by David Federman, Editor in Chief of Colored Stone magazine. Here is his response as to why Argentium is tarnish resistant.
"Although germanium oxidizes faster than copper, it does not discolor like copper. Instead, it turns transparent and forms a protective barrier against further oxidation. Don't get the wrong idea, however. Argentium does not prevent oxidation. But because oxidized Argentium is lighter in color, it doesn't have the black appearance of traditional tarnish. The alloy simply allows silver to stay whiter for much longer periods and to have its shine restored far more easily."
Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong