Sterling Silver Information

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Firescale on Sterling Silver

Firescale is sometimes referred to as “firestain.”  It is a purplish blotchy stain that can appear on silver alloys that contain copper.  It appears when the silver/copper alloy is heated in the presence of oxygen.  While some artisans may deliberately cause firescale, it is usually a blight that one want to avoid and, when that fails, treat.

Most sterling silver contains 75 parts per 1000 of copper.  When the alloy is heated during annealing or as a result of soldering, the exposed copper is transformed into cuprous oxide (Cu20), which is purplish in color.  Attempts to prevent the problem center on heating strategies that are carried out in an oxygen free environment.  As for soldering-induced firestain, this can be prevented by applying a protective coating on the silver to prevent oxygen contact. 

Removal of firescale is best left in the hands of a trained silversmith.

 

 

 

Index Of Articles

"Silver 101"
"Sources of Silver"

"Sterling Silver Defined'"
"Silver Standards"

"Silver Marks and Hallmarks"

"Silver Testing Kits"

"The Silversmith"
"Silver Coins"


Plating & Treatments

"Silver Plated Jewelry"
"Gold Vermeil Jewelry"
"Rhodium Plated Sterling"
"Antiqued Silver"

Fake Silver Jewelry

"Alpaca Silver Jewelry"
"German Silver Jewelry"

Silver Jewelry Styles

"Bali Silver"
"Indian Silver"
"Thai Hill Tribe Silver"
"Tibetan Silver"
"Turkish Silver"
"Filigree"

Silver Allergies

"Silver/Nickel Sensitivities"
"Hypoallergenic Jewelry"

Recent Developments

"Argentium® Sterling Silver"

"Silver PMC®"


"The Origins of Tarnish"

"Tarnish Removal"

"Firescale (Firestain)"

"Proper Silver Storage"

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