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Are you in the market for a new piece of silver jewelry? With so many options available, it can be challenging to determine which metal is best suited for your needs. Two of the most popular options are traditional sterling silver and Argentium® silver.
What is Argentium® Silver, and how is it different from traditional sterling silver?
While both types of silver meet the minimum silver purity requirement of 92.5%, they differ in their composition and properties. Traditional sterling silver is a mixture of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper, nickel, or zinc. It is identified by a “925” stamp and has a grayer, less bright color when polished.
On the other hand, Argentium® silver is a newer and more advanced silver alloy that has two different formulations, 940 and 960. Both formulations are free of nickel and considered hypoallergenic. Argentium® 940 is harder and has 94% silver, 6% copper, and germanium, while Argentium® 960 has a brighter finish, is more tarnish-resistant, and has 96% silver, 4% copper, and germanium. Argentium® silver can be identified by a “940” or “960” stamp or its trademarked flying unicorn logo.
- 940 ( 94% silver, 6% copper & germanium) 940 is harder than 960 formulations. Previously formulated with 93.5% silver prior to August 2021
- 960 ( 96% silver, 4% copper & germanium) 960 is the has a brighter finish than 940, and is more tarnish resistant than the 940 formula
When should I choose Argentium®?
What makes Argentium® silver stand out from traditional sterling silver is its superior properties. Argentium® silver is a harder metal, making it more durable, and has a higher silver content, giving it a bright white finish. It is also more resistant to tarnish due to the presence of germanium, making it an excellent option for those who value longevity in their jewelry purchases.
In addition to its superior properties, Argentium® silver has a higher working capacity than traditional sterling silver. It can be fused, eliminating the need for unsightly solder seams, and is less conductive, making repairs less risky when set stones are involved or multiple solder joints are present. Argentium® silver is the perfect choice for those who want heirloom pieces that can be handed down and resized to fit the wearer.
While traditional sterling silver may be cheaper, it requires rhodium plating to prevent tarnishing, which is not only costly but also requires hazardous chemicals. In contrast, Argentium® silver offers increased tarnish resistance, nearly seven times that of traditional sterling silver in the 940 formulation, and a naturally bright white appearance due to the presence of germanium that eliminates the need for hazardous rhodium plating.
The Premium Choice
When investing in jewelry, it is essential to consider both the design and the quality of the materials used. Argentium® silver is a premium silver alloy that should be considered for its exceptional durability, sustainability, and tarnish resistance. By investing in Argentium® silver, you are not only investing in a high-quality piece of jewelry but also making a responsible and sustainable choice.
Ready to have your next story told in Argentium®?
Website Sources :
Argentium International Limited, Argentium Silver, accessed 6 March 2023,
United Precious Metal Refining, UPMR, accessed 6 March 2023, https://www.unitedpmr.com/master-alloys-for-casting/925-sterling-silver-heat-treatable-casting-master-alloys/
Introduction to precious metals Metallurgy for jewelers and silversmiths, Mark Grimwade, 2009, page 98
Argentium® logo & data graphs used with permission.