A method of joining metals together by a diffusion process using silver/germanium alloys.

Named inventor: Peter G. Johns (2001) A method of joining metals together by a diffusion process using silver/germanium alloys. [Patent] (doi:USA Patent No. 6,168,071 - granted 2/1/2001.)


In 1990, Johns started to research the benefits of alloying the element germanium with Sterling Silver alloys. Germanium was found to impart unique properties to Sterling Silver. These superior alloys were named Argentium® Silver.


The pace of change in the jewellery industry has increased at an extraordinary rate in the last few years. Competitive pressure requires production of better quality jewellery with more innovative designs. The Argentium Silver research project has contributed to an increase in the amount of research being carried out by silver producers throughout the world. Argentium has also shown the industry how to apply technology and processes to silver, which have not been possible before. This provides new opportunities in application and design.

The first silver/germanium alloy patent, “Novel Silver-based Ternary Alloy”, was filed in 1991. This was in advance of any of the other alloys which have since been developed in competition. Johns has developed intellectual property in this and related areas. To date, a total of 16 patents are granted and pending in Europe, USA and Internationally.

United States Patent 6,168,071 (granted) protects the intellectual property covering:
a) Grain refining of Sterling Silver alloys containing germanium, to improve physical properties.
b) Diffusion bonding and welding processes with Argentium Silver (these processes are difficult to achieve with traditional Sterling Silver).

Diffusion bonding is a method of joining metals together without the addition of a solder or ‘filler' welding material. Craftspersons using traditional jewellery equipment can easily perform this process with Argentium Silver. The ability to diffusion bond and weld Argentium Silver opens new avenues for the design and production of silverware and jewellery.


Item Type: Patent
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design
Item ID: 538
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2008 12:52
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:11
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/538

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.