In the world of metallurgy, a new alloy has been developed.
To explain this properly, I am first going to talk about traditional sterling silver.
Pure silver in its natural form is incredibly soft - too soft to make long lasting, crisp and clean jewellery. To make up the alloy of sterling silver, a base of 92.5% pure silver then has other metals added to it to increase strength and hardness. In most cases, this metal is copper.
During jewellery making, the metal is heated through the annealing and soldering processes. This heat causes the copper to come to the surface, creating a stain on the piece that is known as fire scale or fire stain. I try to have each component as clean and finished as possible prior to assembling a piece, so to then have a stain appear in the metal is less than ideal.
By replacing the copper with the very hard white metal palladium, a new version of sterling silver is made. Perks include...
* A tighter grain size, allowing for a better and longer lasting finish
* Fire scale free and tarnish resistant
* Brighter white
* Increased hardness for better wear and sharper fabrication
I have made a permanent switch to this alloy. Although it is more expensive than traditional sterling silver, I believe it to absolutely be worth it, from both the perspective of a maker and a wearer.
Please don't hesitate to contact me should you have further questions.
Thank you for reading!