Fine jewelry is generally made of various alloys of gold or silver. While gold has a lovely buttery yellow color, many colored stones “pop” against the whiteness of silver. With gold prices still very high, silver is a wonderful alternative to make affordable pieces. FINE silver is 99% pure and won’t tarnish, but is too soft to be useful in pieces that need any structural strength. Traditional STERLING is 92.5 % fine silver and 7.5% copper. While much stronger than fine silver, the copper makes it tarnish rapidly. Sometimes pieces are oxidized on purpose to a black color which masks the tarnish and is part of the design. But if you want to keep the silver-white color of clean sterling, you need to plate it with rhodium (which can rapidly wear off) or use one of the new tarnish-resistant alloys. I am proud to use mostly Argentium® Sterling Silver, which is a proprietary alloy of 93.5 % fine silver with germanium making up the bulk of the remaining composition. Argentium is very tarnish resistant & brighter than platinum, white gold or sterling. It is the whitest jewelry metal & is made entirely of recycled silver, so it is very environmentally friendly. It can be hallmarked as “935”, with the flying pegasus or as sterling. Some of my pieces are currently on display on the Argentium Guild Members Gallery page.
The countdown continues with only 16 days until the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge & 3D Expo where I will have my jewelry on display Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Labor Day Weekend in downtown San Diego. Hope to see you there.