Blackening (patinating) Argentium silver
Like traditional sterling silver, Argentium can be patinated using liver of sulphur and a rich, black colour can be achieved. (The process may take a little longer due to the tarnish resistant properties of Argentium).
Don't quench or touch too quickly after soldering or annealing!
We received a message the other day from a Member who remembers when she first started using Argentium, her pieces kept breaking. After learning about the working properties of Argentium, she realised that it is important not to quench Argentium too quickly after soldering or annealing and not to touch the metal when it is at red-hot temperatures. Simply wait a few seconds for the red glow to disappear before you touch or quench your work to prevent brittleness.
Annealing Argentium - look for a pale red colour!
The germanium in Argentium silver causes the silver to glow a paler red in comparison to traditional sterling. So to prevent overheating your Argentium when soldering or annealing, it is recommended to apply heat in a shaded area. You will soon get used to the heat/colour recognition.
Useful tip: Some silversmiths use a Sharpie marker pen to identify when their Argentium is annealed - just place marks over your piece and apply heat until the point when the marks disappear!
Did you know that Argentium silver has excellent fusing properties?
Find out more about fusing Argentium in the Resources - Downloads and videos section of argentiumsilverguild.com
Ronda Coryell Instruction DVDs beautifully demonstrate the fusing process - these are available from rondacoryell.com or riogrande.com
Argentium Fusing Kits can be purchased from wiredupbeads.com.