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pewter
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: black metal
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A tin-based alloy used as a material from which domestic utensils were fashioned. The alloy is often 100 parts of tin to 17 of antimony; or 89 tin, 7 antimony, and 2 copper. Tin and zinc, and lead and tin, are sometimes used to make pewter. The use of pewter dates back at least 2,000 years to Roman times. Ancient pewter contained about 70 percent tin and 30 percent lead. Such pewter, also called black metal, darkened greatly with age, and the lead leached out in contact with acidic foods.

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