Argentium silver is a recent development of the sterling silver alloy, made with pure silver, copper and the addition of metalloid germanium. It comes in two grades, either containing 93.5% or 96% silver. Argentium is patented and trademarked by the Argentium Silver Company, who uses ‘ARGENTIUM®’ or a detailed ‘flying unicorn’ symbol to mark its authenticity.
When hallmarked, the 93.5% grade is still classified as sterling silver and is stamped with 930. The 96% grade qualifies as Britannia UK standard and can be stamped with 960 to legally indicate its purity.
Argentium is harder than sterling silver and its natural shiny tone and bright appearance means there is no need for it to be plated. Argentium silver is ideal for those with sensitive skin. It has less copper in the surface and no nickel content, resulting in hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial properties.
Jewellery pieces and silverware that are made from argentium silver are naturally stronger, and more durable than sterling silver. It has a higher resistance to tarnishing and will not dent or scratch easily, so it’s particularly good for jewellery that will be worn daily.
Both types of silver jewellery don’t require too much maintenance and care. It’s best to wear silver to keep it from oxidising with the air and if it comes into contact with water, dry it quickly to avoid stains. For more information on how to care for silver read our Caring For Your Jewellery Guide.