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Silver: An element of good health


#1

Good day,

Many of you may know of the dismal job the silver industry has done
over the last half century regarding the promotion of silver for the
home. Mass-produced flatware and holloware are becoming less popular
every day, and it’s silver for the masses that will prompt the
purchasing of one-of-a-kind silver from you. The cottage industry
(the independent silversmith) has picked up where the large companies
have faltered and in some cases closed forever. This is happening
around the world.

With the decline of the industry, it’s up to us to come up with
creative ways to keep collectors using their silver and to pass it
down to the next generation. One of these ways is to market silver’s
antimicrobial properties. This widely known but rarely promoted
aspect is something the silver companies never marketed.

Print a poster to use on your display case or wall, enlightening
your customers as to the health benefits of owning silver, not to
mention its intrinsic value.

8"x10" poster: http://tinyurl.com/39v65mw

8.5"x11" poster: http://tinyurl.com/3y8hw4b

Help spread the word to help rebuild our craft,

Jeffrey Herman, Founder & Executive Director
Society of American Silversmiths
Web: http://www.silversmithing.com


#2

I think that this falls into low end “false advertising” spectrum.

It’s almost true… but not quite. It’s untrue… but!

Tony Konrath


#3
With the decline of the industry, it's up to us to come up with
creative ways to keep collectors using their silver and to pass it
down to the next generation. One of these ways is to market
silver's antimicrobial properties. This widely known but rarely
promoted aspect is something the silver companies never marketed. 

This is a great idea! Silver has incredibly deep history filled with
fascinating facts. Ancient Egyptians valued silver better than gold,
and do you know that platinum comes from platina which means “little
silver”. When platinum was introduced it was considered inferior to
silver. Some still hold this opinion. I have an article on my
website, which explores some of the silver lore. This is a very
worthwhile effort, which everybody should support.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#4

Tony,

I never said using silver will cure cancer. What I have written has
been documented by Ph.D.s, not quacks.

I STRONGLY disagree that this is false advertising.

Jeff Herman
http://www.hermansilver.com


#5

A few thoughts, for whatever they might be worth, probably not
much…

First a little background. I began my official career working in a
shop that billed itself XXXX Silversmiths and Jewelers. By the time I
came aboard, in house ‘making’ of silverware was already about dead,
so the course of business became sales of branded manufactured silver
and repairs/plating. I was involved in thousands of transactions of
both types with a lot of direct customer contact so came to know what
people were thinking.

It was plain to see that interest was waning as the old folks left
the market, leaving younger people who just didn’t want to deal with
silver for several reasons. Maintenance issues, relative cost, old
fogyism. In the past, bridal was the big segment, accounting for not
just some big individual sales bit also introduction to the market.
But more contemporary new brides wanted an easier lifestyle that
didn’t make demands on their time/money.

While antique collecting is still a viable segment to serve, one
cannot make antiques.

Jeffrey’s idea here is a good one, because its applicable to a more
health conscious generation(compared to an older one where marrow
scoops were a standard thing, ughhh). I should think it could be
promoted not just in bridal/gift venues but also in health mags etc.
I have a feeling though that the future of silverware(as opposed to
silver jewelry) has a ceiling that lowers a little bit every year.
The market needs some remarkable innovation to capture new consumers.
Maybe its away from tableware and toward tech, I don’t know. Or maybe
its a rebirth of tableware with a new definition.

In some respects I miss working on silver. Its a bigger canvass. Its
also incredibly messy. Eh, maybe I don’t miss it so much after all.
Spend a day buffing Tea Sets and you’ll know what I mean.


#6

Although I’m massively in favour of promoting all of the traditional
jewellery trades, how much evidence do we have for silver bullion as
an antibacterial agent? Recent developments in nanoparticle silver
have shown it to be effective, and various silver compounds are
beneficial. But that’s a world away from a block of cast silver.

In addition, silver alloys for metalworking are not designed with
medical benefits in mind. Even if metallic silver is good for me,
what about the other 75 ppt in my sterling silver?

I’ve checked the website, and I can’t see any references. Perhaps you
could provide them. I’m sure none of us would want to be accused of
being snake oil merchants.

Jamie
http://primitive.ganoksin.com


#7

Hello Neil,

The Silver Institute will be coming out with a press release with my
article as part of a slightly larger piece on silver’s health
benefits. When I can (I’m a full-time restorer, don’t ya know), I
will be doing additional promotional work.

As long as people use their silver on a daily basis, it will only
require dishwashing soap to clean, not silver polish.

I won’t sit by and allow my craft and livelihood die, there’s too
much at stake. One of the many reasons I founded SAS.

Have a great weekend,

Jeff Herman
http://www.hermansilver.com


#8

Jeff

I just went into your website to have a look/see. OMG what an
impressive site. I looked at just the before and after of the Toureen
repair. You are a Master…thank you.

Oh by the way, I am using a Silvasorb Gel…Silver Antimicrobial
Wound Gel - for a wound on my leg, so silver is still being used for
medicinal purposes!

Rose Marie Christison


#9

The bit that worries me most is that the statement that the ionic
properties of silver “have the same effect in silver objects.” (i.e.
solid silver) needs evidence to support it. Can anyone give me the
research for this?

Is this still true of sterling silver? Does it have to be fine
silver? What about Argentium? Silver plate?

Tony Konrath


#10
The bit that worries me most is that the statement that the ionic
properties of silver "have the same effect in silver objects."
(i.e. solid silver) needs evidence to support it. Can anyone give
me the research for this? 

This really not that difficult. All you need to do is Google “silver
in wound treatment” or “silver in treatment of burns” or anything
like that, and you will have a ton of scholarship on the subject.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#11

Forgive me on two counts;

1 - I haven’t been following this thread carefully.

2 - After 70 years I’m still a skeptic at heart, despite my great
affection and warm feelings towards many people and their works.

But when I see a promotional blurb for the health benefits of silver
coming from “The Silver Institute” would I be far wrong to suspect
there is some self-serving interest at play?

For health benefit claims, I’ll wait for info from the medical
profession, thanks very much.

Marty the Grump in Victoria BC where the weather is partly to blame
for my irritability today.


#12

P.S.

I’m also old enough to remember members of the medical profession,
gussied up in their finest white coats, touting the health benefits
of this or that brand of cigarettes in TV and magazine ads. So even
their endorsements must be taken with a few grains of salt.

Thanks folks
Marty in Victoria where the weather hasn’t changed yet.


#13

It was once heresy to propose that the world was round or that the
earth revolved around the sun. Chiropractic care was ridiculed and
denigrated by the AMA and its members, and some doctors still think
taking vitamins and mineral supplements are a complete waste of your
money. It is better to be thought of as a fool by such people than
to be accepted by them.

Ray Brown


#14
Chiropractic care was ridiculed and denigrated by the AMA and its
members 

It should be noted that it’s not the AMA that changed, but the
practice of chiropractic. Genuine chiropractors no longer contend
that all ills, including heart disease and cancer, can be cured by M
sessions of manipulation at N dollars per session, plus the
extra-cost magic belt.

Unfortunately, not all the witch doctors have reformed. In fact,
they seem to be doing better than ever. If you advertise a $19.95
(plus $14.99 “processing”) magic bracelet to ten million people, and
1% believe it, you make out pretty good.

Even the pharmacies are in cahoots with the witch doctors. The
customer side of the counter is filled with magic pills and potions.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#15
Oh by the way, I am using a Silvasorb Gel...Silver Antimicrobial
Wound Gel - for a wound on my leg, so silver is still being used
for medicinal purposes! 

Silvasorb and similar products are ionic silver, not silver metal.
The formula is apparently proprietary, but the decomposition products
include silver chloride, so I suspect that’s the active ingredient.

It’s hard to separate facts from all the witch doctor advertising,
but there appears to be little evidence that metallic silver (or
"colloidal" silver) has any direct antimicrobial effect. Silver
vessels may have an effect, because silver in contact with liquids
tends to liberate silver ions.

Colloidal silver, btw, is illegal in some jurisdictions, and real
doctors advise against it because it does no good and can have
harmful side effects.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#16

I’ve done the research and the Silver Institute uses Ph.D. chemists
and metallurgists for its own research. This isn’t smoke and mirrors.

Sterling, pure silver, Argentium, and silverplate (pure silver over
base metal) have the same properties on water.

Read some of this:

http://www.doulton.ca/silver.html
http://apsjournals.apsnet.org/doi/abs/10.1094/PDIS-93-10-1037

Jeff Herman
http://www.hermansilver.com


#17

Chiropractic is woo-woo - all the research shows at best a placebo
effect plus a little benefit from increased circulation (about the
same as amateur massage.) Most of us are oversupplied with vitamins
and minerals in an average diet and have no need of extras in pill
form.

Tony Konrath


#18

Leonid,

This really not that difficult. All you need to do is Google
"silver in wound treatment" or "silver in treatment of burns" or
anything like that, and you will have a ton of scholarship on the
subject 

I’m very familiar with the research on ionic silver. I’m interested
in research on metallic and sterling silver. I can’t find any.

Tony Konrath


#19
Read some of this: 
http://www.doulton.ca/silver.html
http://apsjournals.apsnet.org/doi/abs/10.1094/PDIS-93-10-1037 

Perhaps you should read them more carefully. They refer to ionic
silver.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#20
I'm very familiar with the research on ionic silver. I'm
interested in research on metallic and sterling silver. I can't
find any. 

here is one article

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/513362

relevant excerpt

Silver has proven antimicrobial activity that includes
antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant
enterococci (VRE).[4] Its role as an antimicrobial agent is
particularly attractive, as it has a broad spectrum of
antimicrobial activity[5,6] with minimal toxicity toward
mammalian cells at low concentrations[7] and has a less likely
tendency than antibiotics to induce resistance due to its
activity at multiple bacterial target sites.[8] 

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com