Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What is Argentium Sterling Silver?

Morning Frost...Rock Crystal and Button Pearls in Argentium Sterling Silver

Since I have been using a lot of Argentium® Sterling Silver in my jewelry designs lately, I thought I should share with you what makes it different from traditional sterling silver. Argentium sterling is more expensive, but I feel that it's worth spending a little extra so that my customers and I can spend less time polishing our jewelry.

I love the look of a new, shiny piece of silver jewelry, don't you? It seems that it doesn't take very long before it takes on a goldish patina and then gray. There are some pieces where the tarnishing adds a richness or antique look to the piece so I do leave those alone.

Here is an excerpt from a very detailed explanation at, a great resource if you'd like more information on this metal:
"How does Germanium prevent tarnish and firescale?
Germanium loves oxygen! Germanium in Argentium oxidises preferentially to the copper and silver in the presence of air, forming an invisible protective Germanium oxide surface layer. The oxide is able to continuously replenish itself at ambient temperatures through the migration of Germanium atoms to the surface preventing the formation of both tarnish and firescale."

Medium Organic Hoops in Argentium Sterling Silver

Okay...before your eyes glaze over, here is my simplified explanation that I include with my item descriptions:
Argentium® Sterling Silver is a patented and trademarked alloy that is at least 92.5% pure silver, just like traditional sterling silver.What makes it different from traditional sterling silver is that a small amount of germanium replaces some of the copper that is usually the other 7.5% of sterling silver. It is the copper in sterling silver reacting with oxygen that causes it to tarnish.

So there you have it! As the website I mentioned earlier says:
"Silver, the way it was meant to be!"

If you'd like to see my jewelry using Argentium Sterling Silver, please visit my shop Beadin' By The Sea by clicking here.


  1. Interesting - I hadn't heard of Argentium Sterling Silver before. Your earrings are beautiful by the way!

  2. I've never heard of Argentium Sterling Silver before either. Thanks for sharing.

    I've tagged you in my blog. You can find the details here:


  3. I am a big fan of Argentium sterling silver due to the fact that it does not easily tarnish, and looks great. My company has been using it for some of our wedding band styles for a little over a year now. While it's been slow to catch on with retailers, the metal has a great price point. Argentium sterling silver is a good choice if someone is looking to step up from ordinary sterling silver.

    If interested, take a peek -

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Thanks so much for taking the time to write your thoughts. I treasure each and every comment and look forward to reading what you have to say!