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Medical grade sterling silver


#1

Group,

In reference to fine silver, what is the difference between
jewelry-quality and medical grade?

Curious,
Gary D.


#2

Hi, the only difference is that the medical grade silver has been
rolled down in a clean environment using sterilised tooling. This
bumps up the cost enormously as you have to provide a data trail
from ingot in implantation. I used to help make bioglass for research
purposes and the extra hoops you had to jump through to get it
certified for clinical use (even on a rabbit) were enormous. It
pushed the costs up from tens of dollars a kilo to hundreds of
dollars a gram. we had to use special grades of everything, even the
water had to be bought in rather than distilled and deionized in
house. Thank you lucky stars you dont have to autoclave your rolling
mill every time you use it.


#3

Gary- Fine silver is the element AG. It’s supposed to be .999.
Perhaps it could be further refined to .9999. The Canadians refine
their Maple Leafs and extra step to make it .9999 I’ve never seen it
done in silver.

Jo Haemer
www.timothywgreen.com


#4

Hi Gary,

“Medical grade” silver? No such beast, so far as I’m aware.

The flip answer is to say the difference is marketing.

Meanwhile, “Fine silver” is just pure silver. Minimum purity
999/1000 pure Ag. So there’s no percentage left to make it any
particular grade of anything except pure silver.

Sterling is 925/1000 Silver, with the remainder usually (but not
always) copper.

There are silver alloys with all sorts of things, including platinum.
Somebody might be calling one of those “medical” for some reason, but
there’s no official ‘medical grade’ or “jewelry grade” alloy of
silver. It’s just whatever alloy it is. Use it for whatever you like.

Now that I think of it, silver is antimicrobial, and was used to
make medical instruments of various sorts up until the 1940’s.
Depending on application, those old instruments are either pure
silver, sterling, or pure silver plated onto something. (usually
brass.) The problem with pure silver is that it’s very soft. Too soft
to be of much use by itself.

For whatever that’s worth.
Brian.


#5

Hi Nick,

Wouldn’t it make more sense to autoclave the finished material?
Silver will take far more heat than any microbe. Heat it up to 1000F
in inert gas, and make sure everything’s dead. Speaking as someone
who’s made more than my share of sheet metal, I can’t imagine what
difference it’d make to have the rolling mill sterile or not. (Other
than really screwing with the design and lubrication of the mill.)
Makes things a thousand times harder, for no obvious advantage that I
can see. I can see having a paper trail on manufacture, but what was
the reasoning behind worrying about sterilising the tooling?

Regards,
Brian.


#6
the only difference is that the medical grade silver has been
rolled down in a clean environment using sterilised tooling. This
bumps up the cost enormously as you have to provide a data trail
from ingot in implantation. 

I’d like to see documentation regarding this statement. Using a
continuous casting machine to produce the sterling certainly isn’t a
sterile process, so why would it matter during the rolling process?
As I see it, the only sterilizing necessary would be after its
manufacture.

Jeff Herman
silversmithing.com


#7
bumps up the cost enormously as you have to provide a data trail
from ingot in implantation. I'd like to see documentation regarding
this statement. 

First off, I don’t actually know anything serious about medical
grade sterling silver in itself, but there’s still a couple of
things that relate.

We use .999 (fine - not “pure”) silver and gold because it’s good
enough. It takes $100 to get to.999, but it takes $1000 to get rid
of the last .001. But you can also buy “pure” silver and pure gold if
you want. $250/oz for silver, maybe…

As I’ve said before, my father worked in aerospace, like Alan
Shephard, John Glenn and Neil Armstrong stuff. One time he described
the process to me, and also how it related to expenses. He said that
the screw that holds the seat cushion on had provenance - not just
who made it and where it came from but which mine the steel came
from and what day it was mined and the name of the man with the
shovel. And then to the smelter and the machine shop and who put it
in the box for shipping and what they had for lunch that day.
Overkill? Who’s to say when your life depends on it…


#8

You know what this sounds like? Remember that $500 impact device - a
hammer? Wonder if the contractors were hyping the quality of the
fabricating process and were giving the government nothing more than
off-the-shelf- material.

It’s happened before.

Jeff Herman


#9

Not seen so far in the replies is the “Medical” use of silver via
Colloidal Silver. Saw one very blue skinned proponent of the
process. Sure spent a lot of money on the equipment to produce his
"water."

Insofar as prior medical uses mentioned, remember the silver drops
placed into babies eyes?

Wonder in what context this was originally mentioned.

Hugs,
Terrie