What Metals Are Used in Pewter?


Quick Answer

Pewter is an alloy composed of tin, copper and antimony. Some pewter also contains bismuth, lead or silver. An alloy is a blend of two or more metals.

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Full Answer

Use of pewter dates back to at least 2,000 years ago in ancient Rome. Historically, this early pewter consisted of roughly 70 percent tin and 30 percent lead.

Modern pewter is approximately 91 percent tin, 1.5 percent copper and 7.5 percent antimony. Lead is no longer a primary component in pewter, making pewter a safe component in drinking vessels, dishes and jewelry. However, "lead-free" is defined as containing less than 0.05 percent lead, therefore even lead-free pewter may contain small amounts of lead.

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