There is a new type of silver out there called Argentium silver and I am in love with it.
Silver is available in several varieties:
- fine silver or pure silver (also called .999) is a precious metal that is the "real silver", while other types of silver are alloys with only a portion of fine silver. It is hypoallergenic and does not tarnish. Unfortunately, it is also very soft which makes it unsuitable for making jewelry or vessels.
- sterling silver (also called .925) has been the traditional answer to the softness of pure silver. Sterling is an alloy where copper has been mixed with pure silver. The addition of copper gives strength to the silver, which is good to make jewelry and vessels. Unfortunately, copper has some side effects like allergy and tarnish.
Sterling is the most famous variety of silver.
- reticulated silver is also an alloy of pure silver and copper, but in different proportions. Its surface can be textured using the heat of a torch after a rather labor intensive preparation process. The result cannot be controlled but can be striking.
- then comes Argentium silver. It is a rather new alloy of pure silver and germanium. Adding a small percentage of germanium to pure silver gives silver the required strength for jewelry pieces and vessels but without allergies and tarnish caused by the copper in sterling. Cool, isn’t? (not sure if I can still say cool… it definitely shows my age… oh well…).
So, what Argentium silver means for you:
- Argentium is hypoallergenic and is suitable for those who cannot wear sterling. It does not contain nickel.
- It is certified that Argentium silver is produced with 100% recycled silver.
- Argentium is brighter than other metals and outshines sterling, white gold and platinum.
- Unlike pure silver and sterling, argentium can be heat hardened (the jewelry is heated in a kiln) which insure the highest resistance to dents and scratches.
- Argentium is highly tarnish resistant.
I cannot find anything bad to say against Argentium, really. Maybe it is a tad (really a tad) more expensive than sterling, but it is really worth it for a metal that is considered the finest silver in the world. With Argentium you can be assured that your jewelry is of the highest quality.