Germanium - the "Magic" ingredient
Argentium Silver was invented by master silversmith, Peter Johns, during the 1990s. The patented Argentium formula gives protection against tarnish and firescale and imparts increased ductility, strength, durability and unique hardening properties.
Tarnish and Firescale Resistance
How does germanium protect against tarnish and firescale?
Germanium loves oxygen! Germanium in Argentium oxidises preferentially to the copper and silver in the presence of air, forming an invisible protective germanium oxide surface layer. The oxide is able to continuously replenish itself at ambient temperatures through the migration of germanium atoms to the surface. The preferential oxidation of germanium prevents the formation of both tarnish and firescale.
Increased Ductility and Hardness
Silver alloys are required to be soft and malleable during forming or shaping processes; however, it is important that finished articles are hard and durable, so that the metal is not vulnerable to scratching, denting and deformation.
Argentium Silver can be formed into complex shapes in its fully soft condition, it can be soldered and stone set and then by means of simple heat treatment, have its hardness substantially increased without the risks associated with quenching.
Courtesy Argentium Silver.com
More extensive information on Argentium can be found here