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Pure silver dust


#1

Orchidians,

Tonight there was an ad on TV for the luxury car Infinity M and part
of the description of the luxury was a statement that the wood
inside the car was polished with “pure silver dust.”

I have never heard of polishing wood for a luxury finish with pure
silver dust. I have actually never heard of using pure silver dust
for anything other than recycling with scrap silver. I admit that I
drive a plain Subaru not adorned with luxury of any kind and my
encounters with luxury are limited. However, I have a great
curiosity. Is it common for luxury products to be polished with pure
silver dust? Is anyone familiar with this? What does it mean?

Very curious,
Mary A


#2

I’m not sure, but to me it means the silver is pushed into the wood
grain. and the car is over priced?!

Hans Allwicher
http://www.hansallwicher.com


#3

Sounds like you hit it on the head, Hans. From a review on the car:

“The attractive white ash wood trim is color treated, buffed and
then rubbed crosswise over the grains with a silver powder finish
before being clearcoated for final installation…”

Carol


#4
Is it common for luxury products to be polished with pure silver
dust? Is anyone familiar with this? What does it mean? 

Mary got me curious, too, and it was simple enough to go look at the
car, online. I can’t point you exactly to it, because it’s flash,
but if you start here:

http://www.infinitiusa.com/m/key_features

Hover over “sensory design” and then click on “exquisite
aesthetics”, and there it will be. They call it “a modern approach to
timeless Japanese artistry”, by which I’d assume they mean some of
the lacquerware and such that the Japanese do. It’s not polished with
silver dust, the dust is embedded in the wood (Ash wood) and then
finished off, leaving the silver in thewood grain. Nice effect,
actually… There’s a picture of it if you follow the trail above.


#5
However, I have a great curiosity. Is it common for luxury products
to be polished with pure silver dust? Is anyone familiar with this?
What does it mean? 

This question probably should be directed to a cabinet maker. I can
only give general indication of possible reason.

There is a highly specialized craft of wood finishing which is called
"French Polishing". There are literary thousands of ways of finishing
exotic woods like ebony, mahogany, rosewood, and others. Each
requires a special approach. There are also a lot of recipes of
faking exotic woods. Some of them are based on applying a coat of
nitric acid to the surface of the wood and polishing with metal
dust.

I suspect that if we were to take some white pine, brush it with
nitric acid, and polish with silver dust - we could get something
resembling ebony, or oak, because silver salts are photo-sensitive
and upon exposure to sun will darken.

One way to read this commercial is - we are disclosing that the wood
used may look like exotic variety, but in fact is only a cheap
imitation.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#6

Mary,

Is it common for luxury products to be polished with pure silver
dust? Is anyone familiar with this? What does it mean? 

They’re not using silver dust as a polishing agent. They’re applying
the dust to the wood as part of the decorative finish, so looking at
the wood, you’ll see, under the final gloss coat, the glitter of
silver imbedded in the grain of the wood, much like one might also
use a wood stain, rubbing it into the wood then rubbing it off the
high spots. Neat idea for a snazzy car dashboard. Not new, though.
I’ve seen it used on things like picture frames or many other things.
Or think of the more complete coverage afforded by gold or silver
leaf gilded onto something…

Peter Rowe


#7

Hi Mary,

I’m reasonably sure there was some pixie dust involved in the
creation of the marketing spiel, but somehow, I doubt it had anything
to do with “silver” dust.

Can’t imagine what silver dust would do except rough up the grain,
which you mostly wouldn’t want.

Yeah. Somebody was certainly using some sort of powder…

Cheers-
Brian


#8

I saw this ad a few days ago, and my first thought was how the wood
panel will look after the silver tarnishes. Funny how this ad caught
the ears of this group immediately.

Jamie


#9

Maybe they just mean a silver-color powder like painted finish. I
doubt they’re using actual ground-up silver metal.


#10

hello,

excuse me for hitting te wrong button! Anyway, as far as I can see
this piece of wood with the fine silver dust is covered with a fat
layer of clear coat which blockes the silver dust of getting
tarnished. It seems to me quite obvious to me that the silver holds
it color this way. I don’t think that this company can effort to
mention about silver dust and not providing real silver dust in their
product. Regarding the price and the littel amount of silver being
used, I don’t think that this whould be something else other then
real silver dust. To my opinion, the big hitter could be gold dust in
another more expensive car and that whould be something quite
extraordinary to my opinion.


#11
Maybe they just mean a silver-color powder like painted finish. I
doubt they're using actual ground-up silver metal. 

Why doubt it? The actual amount of silver they’d be putting in a
single dashboard would likely be well less than a gram, I’d guess. So
less than a buck’s worth or so, if that. Given that this is then used
as a marketable luxury selling point, it would be well worth it. And
the color of silver, the whitest of all the metals, is unique enough
to justify such a use, especially since in this use, it’s completely
protected from tarnishing, so the color is permanent. Using real
silver lets them use the word without restriction or fear of people
feeling decieved were it some imitation.

Peter