I love sterling silver jewelry! But I don't love cleaning it. Especially jewelry that has nooks and crannies. So when I read about the tarnish resistant qualities of Argentium ® sterling silver I was very excited from both a wearer and maker perspective.
First let me give a brief explanation what traditional sterling silver is.. It is an alloy of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper. The copper is there to harden the metal since pure silver is too soft to make durable jewelry. Unfortunately, the copper part in the silver causes it to tarnish. This is where Argentium ® comes to the rescue!
Without being completely technical, Argentium ® adds a tiny bit of germanium to the copper/silver mix and voila! Tarnish resistant sterling silver. I use Argentium ® in the majority of my jewelry and I love that my pieces remain tarnish free. Because I live in Florida I do find that if I leave my jewelry exposed to the air a yellowish film will appear over time. Apparently there is sulfur in the air in our neck of the woods (yuck). I find it very easy to clean with windex.
I also store my jewelry in plastic bags with a piece of anti-tarnish paper as added insurance. That way when I'm off to do a show my jewelry is good to go!
I'm Karen Howard the Jewelry Artist at Cozy Cove Studio. Here you'll find my random thoughts on everything from jewelry making to life on Cozy Cove. It's a beautiful place to live and I'm happy to share.