Also, for anyone following this thread, here are instructions (courtesy of RIT) for plating the silver electrode using a piece of equipment they have, or more likely had. All it really did was run the plating process for a fixed four minutes. There is a description in one of the papers I found giving some description of the machine.
Also, while their method of cleaning the electrode does work, I am just cleaning mine with scothbrite. Works great and it gets nice and shiny. Initially I did sand down the sharp edge left by the wire cutters but have not sanded since.