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Precautions when using Argentium Silver

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Published on Jan 30, 2011

Argentium melts about 50 degrees lower than Sterling and takes longer to cool. You can see by the slight discoloration near the bead, that the heat has transferred only a few millimeters up the wire. By going back in with the flame, I can burn those oxides off and there is no need to pickle.

I've placed pieces of Argentium and Sterling side by side on my charcoal block to demonstrate the differences in melting temperature, surface oxides and roundness. You can see the sterling has a hard time forming into a sphere. The firescale that forms leaves the surface rough. The sterling glows hotter because it IS hotter. The Argentium melted at a lower temperature. You can see that the Argentium cools more gradually than the sterling because it holds the heat longer. Notice the roundness and the beautiful surface of the Argentium.

Never quench Argentium while it's red hot or cracking will occur. Simply wait a little longer for any red glow to disappear before quenching. You should always quench in water, as it's hazardous to quench in pickle.

It is important not to touch, move or manipulate Argentium when it is red hot because it will crumble. Give it time to cool a little longer than standard sterling.

When heating, your work may need to be supported or it can slump. A way to prevent this is to use a screen.
Pre-annealing and letting the metal air before soldering or fusing can keep the work from shifting or moving. The bezel on the left has not been annealed. You see the tension causes the metal to move. The bezel on the right has been annealed and stays in place.
Follow renowned jewelry instructor Ronda Coryell as you learn a variety of basic techniques in Argentium Silver - The Finest Silver. In addition to learning how to make seven different rings in this tarnish- & firescale-resistant material - you'll learn many valuable tips and tricks that you will find useful as you work with this amazing new silver alloy.

Topics Covered in the DVD:
• Basic Properties of Argentium Silver
• Fusing & Soldering
• Texturing & Hallmarking
• Hardening Properties
• Proper Finishing Techniques
• Surface Passivation
• Adding a Patina

The full DVD Techniques in Argentium - Volume 1 Basics is available for purchase now from www.rondacoryell.com!

Produced and written by Ronda Coryell (http://www.rondacoryell.com)
Directed, filmed and designed by Wes Clarke (http://www.wesclarke.com)
Copyright ©2011 Ronda Coryell Designs. Rights Reserved.
The Argentium Flying Unicorn and logo mark are trademarked by Argentium International Limited.

Ronda Coryell presents: Techniques in Argentium - Volume 1 Basics / 68 mins / Color / Stereo / Mastered in HD

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