How to Make Jewelry with Argentium Sterling Silver: Fold Forming, Soldering & More with Cynthia Eid
If you’ve used Argentium sterling silver before, you know.
You know that Argentium sterling silver is highly tarnish resistant. That it’s just as easy to make jewelry using Argentium as it is to make jewelry with sterling–minus all the firescale and other discoloration. You know that it balls up into well-formed, fabulously shiny balls when you ball the ends of wire, instead of dull, kind of lumpy balls that sterling usually produces.
But if you don’t know what Argentium is and how dreamy it is to work with, you’ve come to the right place!
What is Argentium Sterling Silver?
First, let’s cover the basics. Argentium sterling silver is a silver alloy that has roughly the same composition as sterling silver (made of 92.5% pure silver), but instead of the 7.5% copper that is added to make sterling silver, Argentium sterling silver also has germanium added. That makes Argentium sterling silver react to the torch differently.
When Argentium melts, the germanium in Argentium sterling reacts with oxygen to create germanium oxide on the surface, which prevents firescale, makes it tarnish resistant, and helps it remain bright white much longer than sterling.
How to Make Jewelry With Argentium
Being a unique silver alloy, Argentium has some nuances to consider when using it to make jewelry. Cynthia Eid is a metalsmithing expert who has been working with Argentium sterling silver longer than anyone I know, since the late 1990s–nearly a decade before it was available in the U.S. (She imported it from Finland before that.) I can’t imagine anyone who knows more about Argentium or who has made more jewelry using it, so who better to learn from than her?
That’s why we asked her to make the most authoritative, informative video on making jewelry with Argentium sterling silver. In her new video tutorial, How to Make Jewelry with Argentium Sterling Silver, Cynthia makes a pair of fold-formed, textured earrings with a bezel-set stone. Throughout that process, you’ll learn all the ins and outs of working with Argentium, including how to anneal it, how to solder it, and how to harden it. That’s right–one of those nuances about Argentium is that it can be hardened (in an oven, toaster oven, or kiln) after fabrication for strength.
“This stuff is an amazing miracle, it really is,” Cynthia says of Argentium sterling silver. “Firescale free, tarnish resistant, easy to harden, malleable and ductile, and easy to fuse and granulate and weld with. It’s mithril!” (Mithril is a fantasy metal–but Argentium is perfectly real!)
If you’re ready to try your hand at making jewelry with Argentium sterling silver, learn from the best! In Argentium expert Cynthia Eid’s much-anticipated new DVD, How to Make Jewelry with Argentium Sterling Silver, you’ll learn how to harden and anneal Argentium, how to solder and finish it, how to texture, foldform, and set stones as you make earrings using this special alloy. You can also instantly download the digital video if you can’t bear to wait for the mailman to bring it!