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health effects of real silverware?  RSS feed

 
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Hey all!

Not sure if this topic has come up elsewhere. I tried searching with no results.

Does anyone know is using antique, real silverware for everyday use is bad for your health?

Is stainless steel the best option still? The old utensils are just so rustic and have way more character.

Thanks!!
 
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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It depends.

Some friends swear they got metal poisoning from their silverware. Other friends swear they are the best thing for their health, like getting colloidal silver with every bite.

They are probably both right, to an extent. It really depends on the quality of the silverware to begin with.
 
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Location: Off grid in the central Rockies of Montana (at 6300') zone 3-4ish
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Silver is used as an antibiotic in past and in the alternative medicine scene. I use colloidal silver for wounds and it works well as a mouth rinse when I am having issues with my teeth.
I also like real silverware because silver is used as an exchange in the place of fiat money. Real silverware is basically an investment in my opinion.
 
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Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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i think you should be fine.
as mentioned, real silver is anti-microbial/biotic.

the term "born with a silver spoon in his mouth" refers to a time when the wealthy used silverware and the properties of the silver helped keep them healthy (think 'back in the black plague days' )

 
R Scott
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Silver itself is good. The question is the purity of the silver and if the impurities are toxic.
 
steward
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I dunno about you lot, but I've never seen cutlery that's got more than a thin layer of silver plate
over an alloy of some sort-generally nickel somethingorather.
I use stainless steel cutlery, although the oldschool stuff is much more my 'thing'.
I have no concerns about health effects,
but I can't stand the metallic taste of old cutlery where the silver's worn.

Off topic, but as a kid I made a massive pot of French onion soup.
Hours of slicing, caramelising, cooking.
When I tasted it, it was hideous.
If you've ever sawed through bone, that's what it tasted like.

I tipped it out, and at the bottom was a bone handled butter knife...
Beware the bone handled cutlery
 
gardener
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There are two kinds of old silverware. There is silver plate, and there is sterling silver. The sterling is usually stamped with an identifying mark. The plate will usually show signs of wear. Look at the rounded bottom of the spoon (or fork) where it will rest on the table. If the plate is worn, that is where you will see it.

The pure sterling silver is made of the same stuff as jewelry. It's good stuff, not likely to poison you.

Thekla
 
Wade Whiddon
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Awesome information people. Thanks!

Maybe it would be good to research a bit about the few different kinds and be able to determine which is which before one buys some.
 
gardener
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Wade Whiddon wrote:Awesome information people. Thanks!

Maybe it would be good to research a bit about the few different kinds and be able to determine which is which before one buys some.



Easily done, look on the back side of the flatware handle, if solid silver it will be stamped "Sterling"

If there is no mark as above, it is silver plated.
 
pollinator
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I was having this question too! My old familly silverware is stamped, but it is not "written" sterling....

When plated, I would like to know what is likely to be below...
 
pollinator
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:I was having this question too! My old familly silverware is stamped, but it is not "written" sterling....

When plated, I would like to know what is likely to be below...


Probably it depends on where the silverware is from (which country), and how old it is (which century). As far as I know there are many different 'stamps' to show if it is solid silver or silver plated.
 
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Sterling Silver will be stamped "Sterling" or "925" or ".925" or possibly "Ster" and that mark should be accompanied by the name or trademark of the manufacturer. This means that the piece is 92.5% silver and 7.5% alloy, usually copper. The copper is alloyed with the silver during the manufacturing process and is not any danger to the user. Silver plate is a much less closely defined product, with the depth of plating varying widely. Silver is electroplated over a base metal, usually brass, which is subject to oxidation and the formation of verdigris, a poisonous copper acetate, in the presence of acetic acid, i.e. vinegar. Silver plated ware that has lost some of its silver layer should probably not be used to eat from. At best it can cause off-flavors if used in acidic foods, at worst - you did notice that verdigris is poisonous, right? Probably not terribly dangerous in the miniscule quantities you'd consume from your salad fork, but is it worth taking the chance?

Mike
 
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