On the Bright Side

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Getting to know de-oxidized sterling silver alloys

By Irina Missiuro

(Originally published July 2017)

Sterling silver alloys typically contain about 7.5 percent copper, an addition that not only provides strength to the otherwise pure silver, but also helps the alloys to tarnish fairly quickly—a traditional frustration for jewelers and consumers alike. In addition, both copper and silver readily absorb oxygen when in a liquid state, leading to issues with firestain and gas porosity that has confounded many a caster.