Purer – Argentium Silver grades of 935 or 960 are of greater purity than sterling silver at 925. That is why we always hallmark Austin Birdstone Studio pieces and also use the flying unicorn mark of the Argentium Guild and Argentium International Limited.
Naturally Beautiful – Argentium Silver is never plated. It is always pure and is brighter and whiter than platinum, white gold or traditional sterling silver.
Highly Tarnish Resistant – Argentium Silver is low maintenance, easy to care for and keep bright and clean.
Hypoallergenic – Hypoallergenic properties means that Argentium Silver is suitable for those who may be unable to wear traditional silver and some gold metals.
Environmentally Responsible – Argentium Silver is certified as being produced using 100% recycled silver.
Keum-boo is the Korean phrase for “attached gold.” It is an ancient Korean gilding technique used to apply thin sheets of high carat gold to pure silver or Argentium Silver. Traditionally, this technique is accomplished by first depleting a surface of sterling silver to bring up a thin layer of fine silver, but the process better y with Argentium Silver as the silver is so pure . A 22- or 24 carat gold foil is applied with heat and pressure—mechanical gilding—to produce a permanent diffusion bond.
Pure precious metals such as gold and silver have a very similar atomic structure and therefore have a good potential for bonding. Heating these metals to a temperature between 260–370°C increases the movement of the atoms. When pressure is added, this causes an electron exchange at the surface between the two metals, creating a permanent diffusion bond. This diffusion bond occurs far below the soldering temperature for either metal (Dhein, 2004).
Examples of this technique have probably been observed, but not positively identified on pieces from the second half of the first millennium B.C. and from the early first millennium A.D. (Oddy, 1981).
This technique is used in many cultures, including Chinese, Japanese and in the West to bond gold to other metals, including iron, copper, aluminum, gold alloys, white gold, palladium and platinum.