Contrary to most beliefs, Argentium silver and sterling silver are never alike. Although they are both types of silver, they are different in that one of the two is an improved version of the other.
Most people think that the name comes from Argentina, which is never the truth. This is a modern alloy of silver that’s also tarnish resistant.
And that’s what’s making it more popular because you can have it over a long time without tarnishing.
The name is a brand name in the UK. It also has a winged unicorn as its logo design. In this article, we make you understand the two types of silver well.
- What is Argentium silver?
- Sterling silver
- Is Argentium silver more expensive?
- Remember this when you are working with Argentium silver?
- Is Argentium silver good?
- Argentium vs. Sterling Silver
- Reasons why you should choose Argentium silver
- Which one is better?
What is Argentium silver?
For those who still don’t know it too well, Argentium silver has pure silver only in different percentages. Now the difference comes in the other metals that make the whole piece.
In sterling silver, they use copper and sometimes nickel to create the alloy.
Argentium silver has the germanium mixed into the copper. As such, it will react differently to the torch.
Also, you will have the addition of zinc and boron in the silver alloy. They come in two grades, so they are listed in two grades.
- 923 – features the use of 93.2% pure silver
- 960-features the use of 96.0% pure silver
Notice, therefore, that these will exceed the regular sterling silver composition, usually at 92.5% pure silver.
Where it‘s from
As we have earlier mentioned, Argentium silver isn’t from Argentina. It was founded by peter Johns of the Argentium silver company. His solid aim was to get rid of the fire stains on the sterling silver and the tarnishing problem.
He, therefore, used germanium in the silver alloy. While this also proved successful, he found out that there are far more benefits to using germanium.
It’s a more durable whiter, and it’s also a heat-hardening metal. It’s further tarnish-resistant, which is a plus for this kind of silver. To date, no other copycats have made a similar type of silver. It still maintains its uniqueness and authenticity.
It has the unicorn logo made in Argentium silver to show you that it’s authentic.
When was it first created?
We already mentioned that Peter was the first to create Argentium silver. He started to make it in 1991.
It wasn’t one-day research and finding the solution; instead, he worked on everything for over ten years before. He was working with germanium and indium, where he decided to use the germanium since it proved to work better with the best and more positive effects.
You probably already know more than enough about sterling silver. For a very long time, it was the only high-grade silver in the market. It contains about 92.5% pure silver, and you also have 7.5% copper. This one sometimes will have nickel or brass in the alloy.
One definitive feature is that this silver tarnishes a lot, so you have to take better care of it.
This one has been in existence for ages, and still, it dominates the market. It’s further as popular as different kinds of gold jewels. Most of us still like the silver-ish white and grey-colored ornaments.
Today though, most brands are using rhodium plating to make it last longer without necessarily tarnishing.
Is Argentium silver more expensive?
Yes, it is as you would expect, since the Argentium has a higher percentage of pure silver. It further has even better content for the remaining metals that creates the alloy. This is the reason why it’s more expensive than sterling silver.
Remember it’s shinier, whiter, more durable, and it won’t even tarnish. Since it doesn’t tarnish, therefore it’s much easier to manage.
I know it may be hard to understand why it will cost you more. But if you are into the technological aspect of everything, you will quickly see that it stands out.
Remember this when you are working with Argentium silver?
You will find the benefits of using this kind of silver if you will buy the authentic type. Don’t go for the other options that mix Argentium silver with other metals and expect it to be effective. It’s supposed to stand out on its.
Of course, it will take longer for any new type of jewel to flourish. But anyone who has used this kind of silver will know that you are hooked the moment you try it once. Don’t worry if you don’t hear about it as much; just try it today.
Is Argentium silver good?
By the time we finish this article, I’m sure I will not need to answer it. But to give you a quick answer, Yes it’s a great type of silver.
It contains a higher percentage of silver, and yet it’s shinier and white-looking. You won’t even think about cleaning and polishing it every time you remove it since it never tarnishes.
Argentium vs. Sterling Silver
For ages, people have associated silver with tarnishing because of the presence of copper in the alloy. But this Argentium silver comes to give you a different kind of silver tarnishing solution.
At first, the founder had a single intention, to make sure silver no longer tarnished as sterling silver does. But when it was all done, they realized there’s more to offer since it’s more durable with other favorable features.
So for those asking whether Argentium silver will tarnish as sterling silver does, then the answer is no it doesn’t. If you bought the real kind of silver, then you can be sure you won’t have such issues.
Read more: Jewelry Metals That Don’T Tarnish
How about the color?
Did you know that its color is then even brighter than the regular sterling silver, white gold, and even platinum? The best part though is that it never loses its luster, not its shine. So it too is in the category of precious metals but with even better shine.
Argentium silver is whiter than sterling silver, but not only that it’s whiter than most other silver-hued metals. If you like to choose rhodium plating and platinum for the bright colors or whiteness, you can comfortably use Argentium silver.
Do you know what this then means, right? You won’t need to plate this silver as you sometimes need to do with sterling silver. It has the perfect shine and the perfect color too.
What of the durability?
If you used authentic sterling silver, you could be sure it will last long. But if you didn’t choose the right quality, you will experience scratches and dents from time to time. If you know sterling silver to be durable, you can be sure that Argentium silver is even better.
This silver is the most durable kind of silver to use for your jewels. It was made to be better than the traditional sterling silver, you know. It won’t scratch easily, and the fact that it never tarnishes makes it just better.
Although it’s soft and manageable, when you are making your jewels, it will harden faster than most other types. Notice that it’s harder than sterling silver. It, however, is easy to mold when you are making the jewel.
The hypoallergenic feature
One outstanding characteristic of sterling silver is that sometimes it will contain nickel, which is known to cause a skin reaction. In most cases, the alloy is made using copper and pure silver; sometimes, the sterling silver will contain nickel because it’s cheaper and easily accessible.
On the other hand, Argentium silver is simply hypoallergenic and antibacterial.
It has been in existence since 1991, and we are yet to receive reports of it causing any form of skin reactions. This is for the skin-sensitive. As long as you pick the real and authentic Argentium silver, you are sure it’s safe for your skin.
Fire stain resistance
When you take the sterling silver through the heating, often, it will form black spots. This can be hard to get rid of, though. Remember, this is the result of the oxidation between the copper and the oxygen to form copper oxide. Sometimes the spots will stick to the surface, making the work hard for the jewelers.
Celebrate because this isn’t the same story for Argentium silver. Both research and experience have shown that nothing like this will ever happen for your Argentium silver as it’s resistant. As such, you won’t need acids and abrasives to remove the stains.
Notice that one standing feature about Argentium silver is that it’s non-reactive.
Reasons why you should choose Argentium silver
Undoubtedly by the time we are done, you will realize that anyone in love with silver should be buying Argentium silver. It looks and feels like an upgrade to sterling silver.
Let‘s talk of care and maintenance.
The one thing that will make any jewelry more attractive or not is whether it’s easy to maintain or not. The fact that Argentium silver is tarnish-resistant makes it easy to manage. You don’t have to think of frequently polishing the silver as your do with the3 sterling silver.
If you have ever bought any silver and had to think a lot about its polishing, you should consider sterling silver.
As you have seen previously, therefore, the reason why it doesn’t tarnish is because of the composition.
You will like the look.
You know that Argentium silver has a higher silver content, which is why it has a closer to pure silver bright look. It’s whiter than sterling silver. It’s further brighter and whiter than both rhodium and platinum.
You will be sure that the silver is sustainable since they sometimes use recyclable silver. You should know how great these options are to your environment, as that means you don’t waste energy.
Besides, the recycling process and jewel making will only take about 5% of the energy that you would otherwise use to refine the silver from its ore. So you won’t even need to mine as mining has adverse effects on your environment.
It‘s much more comfortable.
Most of the jewels today will somehow cause allergic reactions but not the Argentium silver. It never contains nickel, which is why it won’t cause the reactions. Germanium makes the silver greater and even more hypoallergenic than regular sterling silver.
We already know this to be true since we have discussed it in length above.
Which one is harder, the sterling silver or the Argentium silver?
When you subject the Argentium silver to low heat temperature, it will harden much faster than sterling silver. This, however, doesn’t mean that the sterling silver is softer. It has the perfect consistency for your jewels.
Are they harder to use?
Of course, anytime you have to buy a jewel that’s hard to use, it’s not good to have it. For jewelers, the silver types are easier to mold. Some people say though that Argentium is an upgrade, which means it’s harder, thus even easier to use.
Is it possible to use metal casting?
Like you would easily recycle the metals, it would be easy to recycle the Argentium silver just as it’s easy to cast sterling silver. You can recycle them both if you want and this is what makes them eco-friendly.
Which one is appropriate for mass production?
They both work if you want to make jewels in large quantities. That’s why you have different options for the jewels in the market. In this category, none is even better than the other.
Which one is better?
I’ll say this is a question I don’t often answer because it depends on what you are looking for. Sterling silver is great, but the Argentium is here to be an upgrade of the same.
It will deliver all the goodness that sterling silver gives you. Also, you have other great features like durability and tarnish resistance that sterling silver doesn’t have.