What is Britannium?

You may have heard some of your favorite jewelry components being made of britannium, or Britannia metal, but do you know what it is? Artbeads is here to inform you on what you may be wearing in your designs!

Britannia metal is a pewter-type alloy that is popular for its rich silver color. This metal alloy is comprised mainly of tin, about 93%, but also contains 5% antimony and 2% copper. First produced in 1769, britannium was first known as “Vickers White Metal” by manufacturers Ebenezer Hancock and Richard Jessop. After the discovery of electroplating with silver, this was used as the base metal for silver-plated household goods.

This lead-free material is highly popular! The Oscar statues given out for the Academy Awards are made from britannium plated with gold. Next time you wear your favorite britannium pieces, you could think of clutching your own Oscar!

So, essentially, this material is made from lead-free pewter. You can check out some of our popular lead-free pewter jewelry supplies now and start creating your own unique designs!


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    • Mary Jo Wells
    • November 30, 2011

    I see that nickel is not listed as an ingredient. Is this metal nickel free? I have lots of customers asking for nickel free earrings and can’t seem to find an affordable finding.

      • Marissa
      • November 30, 2011

      Hi Mary Jo-

      It depends on the manufacturer, but our britannium products are nickel free. Unfortunately, at this time we don’t have any earring findings made from this metal. We do, however, sell niobium earwires which are great for making hypallergenic earring designs!

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