2006 - A Study Comparing Commercially Available Tarnish-Resistant Sterling Silver Alloys with a Traditional Sterling Silver

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2006 - A Study Comparing Commercially Available Tarnish-Resistant Sterling Silver Alloys with a Traditional Sterling Silver

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Within the last several years, there have been several metallurgical innovations aimed at improving the tarnish resistance and metallurgical properties of sterling silver alloy. Two new alloys in particular have the promise to revolutionize the process of working with sterling silver. First, the inclusion of 3.5% to 5% platinum in a new sterling silver is reported to significantly improve tarnish resistance and workability. And the inclusion of germanium in another new sterling alloy (called Argentium) also reportedly improves tarnish resistance, workability and is reported to have the ability to be heat-treated to a harder state than traditional sterling silver. Neither of these alloys has been tested against the conventional sterling silver, which contains 7.5% copper. We propose to perform a series of experiments designed to compare the relative hardness of platinum-enhanced sterling, Argentium sterling, a traditional sterling alloy and pure silver in three states of hardness: fully annealed, rolled (as received from refiner) and fully hardened.

Author: Gary Dawson, Stewart Grice, Dr. Andrew Nyce

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