Sterling Silver Information

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Argentium® Sterling Silver

Argentium® sterling silver is a trademarked and patented sterling silver alloy that was created at Middlesex University in England by Professor Peter Johns, a silversmith expert.  Traditional sterling silver typically contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.  Professor Johns' experiments revealed that when a small amount of the copper was replaced with the element germanium, the alloy took on highly desirable traits, including the following:

  • Resistance to tarnish

  • Prevention of firescale (sometimes called firestain), that purple stain that can develop in tradition sterling made with copper.

  • Greater malleability and ductility (more easily formed and elongated)

  • Easy precipitation (hardening), accomplished even in a kitchen oven

  • Easily welded and fused, due to its lower melting point

Okay, so what is germanium?  Germanium (Ge) is an element that is similar to tin.  It is found in ores, coals and other materials, but never as a free element.  It was discovered in (any guesses!) Germany in 1886.

The Argentium Silver Company offers licensing of the Argentium hallmark ("as").  It is believed that as more people become aware of the properties of this alloy, they will be willing to pay more for products made of it.

The addition of germanium changes the ways in which the silversmith must work with the alloy.  The company offers technical guidance to help silversmiths revise their techniques accordingly.

For more information on Argentium®, visit the company's website at



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"

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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