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Why is Argentium silver brighter and whiter than other precious metals?
- Argentium’s unique formulation enhances the appearance of the silver, giving an incredible natural brightness and lustrous beauty that outshines white gold, platinum and even traditional sterling silver.
How do you measure colour?
- This is achieved through a scientific process called the CIELAB standard colour measurement system, using a device called a Colorimeter. The ‘dark to light’ index is the critical measure used to gauge the level of brightness and the ‘yellowness’ index is the critical measure used to gauge the level of whiteness.
Argentium silver alloys are always purer than traditional sterling silver.
- There are two grades of Argentium silver:
- 93.5% minimum silver content
96% minimum silver content
- Different standards have been established to guarantee and identify the purity of silver articles. Standards include Sterling silver - requiring a minimum of 92.5% silver content and Britannia silver (UK), which specifies a minimum silver content of 95.8%.
- The higher purity 96% Argentium raises the silver level above the prestigious UK Britannia standard.
Hardness and Durability
Why are hardness and durability important?
- It is beneficial for silver to be soft and malleable where forming and shaping processes are required during the production of jewellery and silverware however, it is important that finished articles are hard and durable so that they are not vulnerable to damage from scratches, denting and deformation.
Will Argentium silver work harden?
- Yes, while Argentium has excellent formability in its softened state, the silver will work harden to achieve superior hardness and durability.
Can Argentium silver be heat hardened?
- Yes, Argentium’s unique formulation means that the silver can be effectively hardened by heat treatments.
What does this mean for the customer?
- Finished jewellery and silverware made in Argentium are harder, stronger and more durable than traditional sterling silver. This means that Argentium silver articles are more resistant to damage from scratches, denting and deformation - this is particularly beneficial for jewellery items that are regularly worn.
How do you know Argentium silver is tarnish resistant?
- It has become the industry norm to test so-called ‘tarnish resistant’ alloys with a single industry recognised procedure. The Argentium approach however, is far more demanding and further tests are required to ensure we provide the best quality alloys available today. The information (right) gives a brief explanation of the Argentium critical test regime - designed to replicate the effects of environmental pollutants and everyday conditions that cause tarnish. Argentium silver alloys are required to demonstrate superior tarnish resistance in all of these tests.
How do you measure tarnish resistance?
- This is achieved through a scientific process called the CIELAB standard colour measurement system, using a device called a Colorimeter to assess the level of tarnish on each test sample after exposure to the tarnish tests. The ‘dark to light’ scale is the critical measure used to gauge the degree of tarnish film that has developed on each silver alloy test sample.
What is firestain?
- Firestain is a dark coloured, copper oxide stain that forms when sterling silver articles are heated during production.
Why is firestain a problem?
- Firestain can penetrate deep into the surface of silver articles, requiring acids and abrasive processes to remove the stain. These procedures however, not only increase manufacturing time, labour and costs but there are also environmental and workplace concerns associated with hazardous chemicals and practices required for firestain removal.
What are the benefits of firestain resistant Argentium silver?
- Argentium does not require acid and abrasive processes to remove firestain.
Manufacturing time, labour and costs are saved.
Environmental and cost benefits from not having to dispose of toxic chemicals required to remove firestain.
Workplace benefits from not having to use firestain removal processes.
Why is Argentium silver versatile?
- Argentium offers a range of silver alloys to suit all manufacturing, silversmithing and consumer requirements. Customers also have the choice of 935 or 960 silver purity.
- Argentium has unique properties including the ability to be welded and fused - this lends the silver to modern technologies and opens avenues for application and design.
How many Argentium alloys are available?
- There are four Argentium silver alloys, each having superior properties to assist manufacturing and to provide consumers with luxury jewellery and silverware items.
- These alloys have excellent mechanical properties - ideal for mill product applications:
- Argentium Original
‘Argentium Professional Casting’
- These alloys have been developed for volume investment casting applications:
- Argentium 935 Pro
Argentium 960 Pro
Why is there a growing demand for responsible silver?
- There is an increasing awareness and demand for the preservation of our natural environment - to conserve energy and natural resources and to reduce waste and pollution.
- Some practices in the silver industry use toxic chemicals and hazardous procedures for removing firestain - a penetrating, dark coloured oxide that forms when sterling silver is heated during manufacturing processes. Such practices are undesirable in the workplace and the disposal of toxic waste products also raises environmental concerns.
- Over the last few years, there has been an increasing awareness about the anti-allergy benefits of nickel-free silver.
What makes Argentium silver responsible?
- Argentium guarantees traceability of its raw silver. It is certified that Argentium is produced using only recycled silver.
- Argentium’s excellent firestain resistance makes hazardous processes associated with removing firestain a thing of the past.
- Argentium’s unique and superior properties reduce manufacturing time, labour and resources.
- Argentium alloys do not contain nickel.
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