Thursday, May 12, 2011

We Are Making The Change to Argentium Silver

In today’s review, we will take a slight turn away from discussing gemstones and minerals, to bring to you some exciting news from the realm of metals! After all, metal’s do come from Ore, so that means it qualifies for a rock review, right?

We have been busy researching a type of silver that is growing in popularity, Argentium Silver. This new alloy of silver has metal smiths everywhere excited get their hands on some and try it out because of the great advantages it provides for artists and customers alike. Argentium Silver is an alloy of silver that combines silver, copper and germanium to produce a result that has many benefits over traditional Sterling Silver. Currently, it is being mined exclusively in North America. It’s name was taken from silver’s original name, which was Argentium (Ag on the periodic table). It is brighter in color than white gold or platinum, almost taking a white tone rather than gray, and is purer than sterling at 93% fine silver. One of the distinct advantages it provides to metal workers is that it has little to no risk of fire scale or scaring left by flames on traditional Sterling Silver. Jewelry lovers are equally excited that it’s a low maintenance tarnish resistant metal. It can even be cleaned with “around the house” items such as cotton towels, tap water and dish soap. It also can achieve double hardness through additional firing, making it a durable material that will last for many years. Because it is more difficult to cast, Argentium is being used via fabrication most commonly through family jewelers and artisan shops rather than large jewelry manufacturing operations.

From a business perspective, the unique qualities of Argentium Silver allow those in the handmade industry to reduce labor, processing costs, and environmental impact created by working with traditional Sterling Silver. This is accomplished through eliminating extra processing work and chemicals that are needed specifically in Sterling Silver metal working. Altogether, this means that artisans are able to offer a superior quality silver without raising the overall cost of jewelry for customers. The best news about Argentium Silver for our readers and customers is that Layne Designs is going to begin producing pieces in this new and exciting alloy so that others are able to enjoy the wonderful benefits this metal has offer as well. Please come visit the Layne Designs Etsy site in the near future to view some new pieces in Argentium Silver!

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