What Is the Composition of Nickel Silver?

Nickel silver is composed of varying amounts of copper, nickel and zinc; in all cases, there is more copper than nickel and zinc. Despite having silver in its name, nickel silver does not have any in its composition.

Nickel silver is typically a copper-nickel-zinc alloy, but in some instances the metal may also include traces of lead, tin and manganese. The concentration of the metals can change its characteristics. For example, the higher the amount of copper included, the more ductile this alloy becomes.

For more than 2,000 years, nickel silver has been used in a number of applications, such as jewelry, coins, plated objects and tableware. It has a silvery-white color and the metal resists abrasion, making it a preferable metal. In terms of properties, it has much in common with bronze and brass.