Silver seems to be the only element on earth able to hold down and bind a vampire. Even the oldest vampires are unable to free themselves from the burning bounds of silver. To put a vampire in captivity, it seems all the kidnappers have used silver chains; around both wrists, both legs and the neck.
We have even seen Jason Stackhouse and Amy Burley use a silver mask to subdue Eddie Gauthier. We have also seen Pam use a silver spray into the eyes of Bill Compton. The silver itself burns into the flesh of the vampire. Once the silver is removed however; it isn't long before the vampire is then healed and back to its normal strength.The older the vampire, the quicker it is able to bounce back to full strength...depending on the torture the vampire has endured and how fast it can receive blood.
Most recently, Bill Compton ordered all vampires planning to stay in Bon Temps during the attack by Marnie Stonebrook's coven to go to ground in silver chains, so they would not be able to go out into the sunlight. Thanks to this warning, only one vampire--Maxine Fortenberry's neighbor Beulah Carter--meets The True Death by sunlight.