What Is Nickel Silver?

Nickel silver is an alloy made from 50 to 80 percent copper, 5 to 30 percent nickel, and 10 to 35 percent zinc. Although it is silvery in appearance, it is non-precious and contains no silver.

Nickel silver is a highly workable metal, making it valuable in the production of objects such as jewelry and coins. Abrasion and corrosion resistant, it is found in door knobs and decorative plates. In the early 1900s it was often used as a base metal in the electroplating process during the manufacture of tableware and other items. Nickel silver is synonymous with the term "German silver."