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Argentinium Silver question

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 8, 2005
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40,198
I ordered earrings from etsy, custom made for some amethysts I had and I love them. But I went to wear them today (it's been a few months since I've worn them) and they are all tarnished. I thought Argentinium Silver didn't tarnish at all.

And I wrong or is that something I should bring up to the vendor (who is popular on this board... so I'm not naming names).
 

pregcurious

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 18, 2009
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My understanding is that Argentium silver is more tarnish resistant than sterling silver, but both tarnish. There's the official word here:

http://www.silverusersassociation.org/news/pr_041208_argentium.shtml

The speed at which it tarnishes probably depends on the environment. It would be great if other owners chimed in on how long it takes their pieces to tarnish.

On a related note, do any custom vendors rhodium plate their Argentium silver? I have a piece from Yurman that is rhodium plated, and frankly I like that it stays white. Because it's a pendant, I never worry about wearing off the plating.
 

Lady_Disdain

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Argentium is tarnish resistant, which means that it takes a lot longer to tarnish, but isn't immune to it.

However, it should resist tarnish for a few months. Do you live in a particularly populated city, near oil refineries or other heavy industry? Argentium is also more sensitive (in my opinion) to chloride and sea water, so that might be the cause, if you were swimming with the pieces on.

A final alternative is that the pieces were heat treated correctly. The tarnish resistance comes from a final heating of the piece, after it is completed, which forms a layer of germanium on the piece. If this isn't done, argentium will react pretty much like ordinary sterling.
 

Lady_Disdain

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There should be no need to rhodium plate argentium. In fact, since I see it used mostly by artisan, I doubt it is often plated, since that would imply in sending the piece off to someone else to do the plating.
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
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From what I have learned, Argentium Silver is far more tarnish resistant than Sterling Silver, but is not tarnish free. I have several Argentium rings and they show no tarnish whatsoever - some I've had for perhaps 2 years. I keep each piece stored separately and have never even had to use the special cleaning cloths sent along with the jewelry pieces.

Here's the website for Argentium Silver - http://www.argentiumsilver.com/#! - if you browse through you should find the pdf fact sheet which details the tarnish resistant testing and how Argentium compares to Sterling.

I don't know the conditions under which Argentium might tarnish more quickly - maybe if stored with other metals? I do know you should not use the same cleaning cloth on Argentium that you use with any other metal. Could the vendor possibly have inadvertently used Sterling and not Argentium? Or maybe it was a faulty batch of Argentium? But if it were me, I would contact the vendor about the earrings - it does seem unusual that in the space of a few months they developed tarnish...
 

ZestfullyBling

Brilliant_Rock
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May 27, 2010
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1,992
This is what an Etsy jewelry advised me about my one Argentium silver piece I purchased from him.

"Keep polished with a little cloth. When not wearing it if you keep it a sealed plastic bag you shouldn't have any problem with tarnishing.;Both sterling and Argentium sterling have copper in them. The definition of sterling is 92.5% silver & 7.5% copper.The Argentium sterling has a trace element "germanium" which helps it resist tarnishing. Both will tarnish, but I don't think you will have any problems unless you are exposed to a lot of sulphur such as a hot spring-that will make anything silver turn black.
Some "jewelry cleaners" might change the color slightly slightly (Tarn X will turn it white) . If that happens the little cloth will bring it back to silver color."

Hope this helps. :))
 

Lady_Disdain

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ZestfullyBling|1312508496|2984494 said:
This is what an Etsy jewelry advised me about my one Argentium silver piece I purchased from him.

"Keep polished with a little cloth. When not wearing it if you keep it a sealed plastic bag you shouldn't have any problem with tarnishing.;Both sterling and Argentium sterling have copper in them. The definition of sterling is 92.5% silver & 7.5% copper.The Argentium sterling has a trace element "germanium" which helps it resist tarnishing. Both will tarnish, but I don't think you will have any problems unless you are exposed to a lot of sulphur such as a hot spring-that will make anything silver turn black.
Some "jewelry cleaners" might change the color slightly slightly (Tarn X will turn it white) . If that happens the little cloth will bring it back to silver color."

Hope this helps. :))
Actually, the definition of sterling is 92.5% silver but it doesn't specify what metal the remaining 7.5% are. It is usually copper, but other, exotic alloys are also used.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Lady_Disdain|1312512070|2984530 said:
ZestfullyBling|1312508496|2984494 said:
This is what an Etsy jewelry advised me about my one Argentium silver piece I purchased from him.

"Keep polished with a little cloth. When not wearing it if you keep it a sealed plastic bag you shouldn't have any problem with tarnishing.;Both sterling and Argentium sterling have copper in them. The definition of sterling is 92.5% silver & 7.5% copper.The Argentium sterling has a trace element "germanium" which helps it resist tarnishing. Both will tarnish, but I don't think you will have any problems unless you are exposed to a lot of sulphur such as a hot spring-that will make anything silver turn black.
Some "jewelry cleaners" might change the color slightly slightly (Tarn X will turn it white) . If that happens the little cloth will bring it back to silver color."

Hope this helps. :))
Actually, the definition of sterling is 92.5% silver but it doesn't specify what metal the remaining 7.5% are. It is usually copper, but other, exotic alloys are also used.

Ooooooooookay. Had it about 8 months. It's been sitting out on my vanity. I'll give it a polish. I was just asking because I want another pair from the same vendor, but wanted to make sure it was worth the upcharge, if I needed a different vendor.
 

Aoife

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Jun 23, 2010
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I have several Argentium pieces, and none of them have tarnished. I had a conversation with one of the vendors about the Argentium, and was told that how tarnish resistant the pieces were would be dependent on the interplay between (among?) the humidity of the environment, pollution in the environment, and my personal body chemistry. Anything from needing polishing in a couple of months to never was possible.
 

jstarfireb

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Mar 24, 2007
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6,232
I haven't noticed much of a difference between my argentium pieces and my other sterling pieces. But I keep them all in boxes when I'm not wearing them, so they're not open to the air.
 

LD

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Jun 29, 2008
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Gypsy - a couple of thoughts:

1. When you wore the piece, could it have come into contact with perfume, hairspray, body creams etc? Any residue MAY have had an affect.

2. How have you stored it? With other pieces it will tarnish quicker I think. On it's own it may be tarnish free for longer. There are little pieces of impregnated paper that often comes with silver items that you keep in a plastic bag with the item and for some reason it seems to keep tarnish at bay (but I have no idea what it's made of) - that's seriously unhelpful isn't it!? :errrr:
 
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