Unfortunately, most of the products sold as colloidal silver consist of ionic silver. Producers of such products use a variety of misleading terms on their labels and websites in order to confuse you, the buyer. Some of the most popular ones are colloidal silver, ionic colloidal silver, ionic silver particles, mono-atomic silver, silver hydrosol, and silver water. These various terms are explained further below.

Ionic silver?

Ionic silver is silver dissolved in water, and this ‘dissolved silver’ consists of silver ions. A silver ion is a silver atom that is missing an electron, and the effect of a silver ion inside the body is very different from the effect of colloidal silver.

How can you recognise ionic silver?

The easiest way to recognise ionic silver is by its colour. Silver ions are dissolved in water and do not reflect any light. If the product is transparent and colourless, then it consists of ionic silver. (Photograph of ionic silver)

Sugar dissolved in water is also transparent and colourless.

You can perform a simple test to check whether you have purchased ionic silver. Just add some kitchen salt to the product. If it contains ionic silver, then a white cloudy precipitate will form in the liquid. If this does not happen, then the product does not even contain any ionic silver.

When should we call a product colloidal silver or ionic silver?

We think it’s important for you, as the customer, to know exactly what you are buying, and we try to ensure that product labels are as honest and accurate as possible. That is also why we analyse a great many products from other suppliers, for purposes of comparison. At Crystal colloidal, we use the following definitions.

If more than 50% of the silver in the product consists of colloidal silver particles and the percentage of ionic silver is therefore less than 50%, then the product should be labelled as colloidal silver.

If more than 50% of the silver in the product consists of ionic silver and the percentage of colloidal silver is therefore less than 50%, the product should be labelled as ionic silver.

Why do most of the products sold actually consist of ionic silver?

Many of the products sold as colloidal silver are actually ionic silver because ionic silver can be produced very simply and cheaply. A 9-Volt battery and a piece of silver wire are all you need to produce it. The process is extremely simple.
Commercial companies that sell ionic silver use equipment with voltages of up to 15,000 Volts AC and a capacity of 2000 W, allowing them to produce large quantities quickly and cheaply. However, their products consist of 80% to 90% ionic silver.
If you do believe in the ionic silver marketing hype, then there’s no reason why you should not produce it yourself at home and save yourself a great deal of money.

Misleading labels and names

As mentioned above, producers use a great many different fancy names and terms to impress and mislead buyers. Some of the most popular ones are explained below.

Colloidal silver
Unfortunately, ‘colloidal silver’ is the most widely used misleading label and name for products with ionic silver. Producers do this to make use of the name recognition of real colloidal silver products.

Ionic colloidal silver
Some producers label their product as ionic colloidal silver because they simply want to profit from the name recognition and effectiveness of colloidal silver. These producers actually claim that ionic silver is the active ingredient of their products, but if that is so, why don’t they simply call it ionic silver? Sounds rather fishy, doesn’t it?

Ionic silver particles
Some producers even claim that their product contains ionic silver particles. This is complete nonsense. Silver particles exist and so do silver ions, but there is no such thing as an ionic silver particle.

mono-atomic silver
Another term used by some producers to describe their product is ‘mono-atomic colloidal silver’. These producers claim that their colloidal silver consists of particles that are the size of 1 atom. Physically speaking, this is impossible. Only the noble gases can exist as single atoms. A producer who claims to be able to produce mono-atomic silver actually deserves the Noble prize for physics.
These products always consist of ionic silver, and this fancy term is used only to impress you as the buyer.

The difference between ionic silver and colloidal silver?

Colloidal silver generally refers to a suspension of extremely tiny particles of silver in water. To be more precise, colloidal silver refers to particles of silver that are larger than 1 atom and smaller than 100,000 nanometres.

Ionic silver, on the other hand, refers to silver ions dissolved in water. This is also why a solution of ionic silver in water has no colour but simply looks like normal water.

A silver ion is a silver atom that is missing one electron. In principle, silver ions are therefore unstable, as they are incomplete. Accordingly, silver ions are always trying to become “complete” and are always looking for another substance to balance the missing electron. Chlorine is such a substance to which silver ions are attracted, and a silver ion will immediately attach itself to any available chlorine atom to form a molecule of silver chloride, which can be written out as AgCl.


As long as there is no chlorine available in the vicinity, ionic silver and colloidal silver both have the same effect on the skin. However, once they are ingested, this is no longer true. As chlorine atoms are available inside the human body and in the stomach, ionic silver will immediately attach itself to chlorine and form a molecule of silver chloride AgCl. And the effect of silver chloride in no way resembles the effect of pure silver. This is true in general, as a compound composed of separate elements has a very different effect and characteristics than the separate elements of which it is composed.


Water (H2O) consists of two atoms of hydrogen (H) and one atom of oxygen (O). The characteristics of water have nothing at all in common with the characteristics of the two gases, hydrogen and oxygen, of which water is composed. In the same way, the effect of silver chloride inside the human body in no way resembles the effect of pure silver.


Recently published article (2015) at pages 1420 to 3049 Molecules ISSN 8856 -8874 where is very clearly proven that colloidal silver with a diameter smaller than 30 nm works most effectively.

We would like to send you the article if you just send an e-mail to info@crystal-colloidaal.nl