Compared to standard sterling silver the introduction of Argentium heralded a major breakthrough in silver jewelry design and manufacture. The bulk of the time making better designs and durability was directly linked to the knowledge of how to improve your craftsmanship, but with Argentium sterling silver it makes silver jewelry making way easier than with the normal metal. Making jewelry using Argentium has an advantage, particularly when you do wire sculpturing or any other kind of jewelry designs using sterling silver, and you will be shocked how gorgeous you're jewelry looks when working with Argentium.
Argentium is a genuine and modern sterling silver as it contains a minimum of 92.5% pure silver. This is the product of analysis by Peter Johns at the college of Art & Design, Middlesex University. In 1990, Peter Johns commenced his research on the effects of germanium (a lustrous and hard silver-white metal) additions to alloys. The university owns the patent and they're the only approved manufacturer allowed to supply Argentium worldwide.
There are plenty of advantages Argentium has compared to other normal sterling silver, to name a few this silver is a fire scale-free alloy and has a high taint resistance. You can keep it gleaming by rinsing and wiping it with a smooth fabric occasionally and it doesn't even need any polishing.
Germanium is the element that helps prevent Argentium from tainting. This is a crystalline semi-metallic substance and is naturally found in small amounts of silver, copper and zinc ores, as well as in other minerals. This is chemically similar to tin since it is a lustrous, hard silver-white metal, and with the same crystal structure as diamonds. It forms an invisible film on the surface of silver alloys, and this film prevents oxygen from reaching the tarnishable metal.
In working with Argentium, you must be conscious of certain differences between Argentium and conventional sterling silver, except if you are merely incorporating Argentium wire into your jewelry. As I've said earlier, Argentium is not similar to conventional sterling silvers, which are stiffer silvers, so if you prefer to do wire sculpting, using a dead soft Argentium substitute is highly recommended.
Just always remember that don't do any polishing if at all possible, but if you believe that Argentium needs to be polished, just be sure of using an uncontaminated material when wiping to maintain the beautiful shine of Argentium sterling silver.