What Is Argentium Sterling Silver®
What is Argentium Sterling Silver®
Argentium Silver® is real Sterling Silver, as it contains 92.5% silver.
The addition of germanium causes it to not tarnish
like traditional Sterling Silver, and it contains no nickel.
It stays bright and beautiful for weeks, months, or years.
It requires only an occasional wipe with a soft cloth to remove a
smudge or finger mark.
Tarnish is a discoloration of the surface caused by oxygen and sulfur.
Argentium Silver® forms a clear oxide reducing the tarnishing.
Caring for Argentium®:
Caring and cleaning your Argentium Sterling Silver® is very easy and
needs far less care than traditional silver.
Wash with luke warm water and restore its shine with a polishing cloth.
Let's get Technical:
The element Germanium was discovered in Germany in 1886. On the
Periodic Table it's atomic number is 32 and its atomic weight is 72.64.
Germanium is a metalloid and is chemically similar to tin. Silicon,
manganese, boron and sulfur are also metalloids. That means that these
elements have both metallic and non-metallic properties, and tend to be
semiconductors than conductors.
The Discovery of Argentium Sterling Silver®
Argentium® was discovered by Peter Johns in 1996. He was a professor
of silversmith at Middlesex University in England.
He found that by reducing the copper content in traditional silver and
adding germanium, he could eliminate fire scale.
How Argentium Works
Traditional Silver allows oxygen to penetrate, and the fire scale is caused by the
reaction with copper. The addition of germanium inhibits the oxygen from
penetrating the surface.
Because the germanium is a metalloid rather that a true metal, it is able to float.
So it is constantly diffusing to the surface where is reacts with oxygen to form
a thin layer of germanium oxide. Tarnish is caused by the formation of cuprous
oxide, and the germanium Oxide prevents the cuprous oxide from forming.
The Downside of Argentium Silver®
- Cost more that traditional silver
- Although the wire is available beads and findings are limited.
Other uses for Germanium:
- It is mostly used as a semiconductor for transistor elements
- phosphor in fluorescent lamps
- infrared spectroscopes
- lenses in camera’s and microscopes
- Making Flutes.