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Britannia metal

Britannia metal is a pewter-type alloy favoured for its silvery appearance and smooth surface. The composition is approximately 93% tin, 5% antimony, and 2% copper.

After the development of electroplating with silver in 1846, Britannia metal was widely used as the base metal for silver plated household goods and cutlery. The abbreviation EPBM on such items denotes Electroplated Britannia Metal. Britannia metal was generally used as a cheaper alternative to electroplated nickel silver (EPNS) which is more durable.

Its first mention, according to: The New Encyclopædia Britannica, Micropædia (2002, 15th edition), was in 1769 when it was referred to as "Vickers White Metal".

Some authorities and collectors think that it is this "white metal" that sometimes formed a base for early experimentations in mercury and tin or latten metal plating in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

One famous use of Britannia metal (also referred to as Britannium) is to make the Oscar statuettes handed out each year at the Academy awards. The 8½-pound statuettes are Britannia metal plated with gold.[1]

Britannia metal should be distinguished from Britannia silver, a high-grade alloy of silver.

See also


  1. ^
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Britannia_metal". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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