Do you know what Argentium is? No?! You should because Argentium is what your silver DLJ rings, hoops and necklaces are made of!
Wait . . . does that mean that this isn't sterling silver around my neck?
Nope, Argentium is technically sterling silver because it is composed of *at least* .925 parts per unit (or 92.5%) silver, with the remaining 7.5% being other metals. However, most Argentium is considered more pure than standard sterling silver as it is usually .93 or .935 parts per unit silver. DLJ uses fine silver for the intricate wirework, however, which is .99 PPU silver (the highest quality silver you can get). It's too soft to use for anything else, though.
So how is Argentium any different?
In regular silver, the .75 contains base metal, usually copper. Argentium differs in that it contains Germanium. This difference is what makes Argentium so awesome : it gives Argentium its tarnish resistant quality, a visibly brighter and whiter appearance than standard sterling silver, and also it is less irritating as it should not contain nickel.
Why have I never heard of this magical silver?
Chances are, if some of the silver jewelry you own is newer and from nice, small business owners like myself, it might be made of Argentium. Many of the jewelry designers that I know do prefer to use it for the reasons listed above. But you may not have heard about it for the same reasons that I don't actively call my silver pieces Argentium : because "Argentium" is a wack, futuristic sounding name and I don't want to confuse my customers. So I just let them be pleasantly surprised by how much nicer my silver is than regular sterling silver. If a piece is listed as "tarnish resistant" sterling silver it might be a good idea to check with the seller to see if they're working with Argentium - and if they are, that's great!
So there we have it - Argentium is the bomb.com, with the only drawback being that it sounds like something I would name my pet unicorn.