Pewter ( /ˈpjuːtər/ ) is a malleable metal alloy consisting of tin (85–99%), antimony (approximately 5–10%), copper (2%), bismuth, and sometimes silver.  Copper and antimony (and in antiquity lead) act as hardeners, but lead may be used in lower grades of pewter, imparting a bluish tint. Pewter has a low melting point, around 170–230 °C (338–446 °F), depending on the exact mixture of metals.   The word pewter is probably a variation of the word spelter , a term for zinc alloys (originally a colloquial name for zinc). 
Pewter was first used around the beginning of the Bronze Age in the Near East. The earliest known piece of pewter was found in an Egyptian tomb, c. 1450 BC,  but it is unlikely that this was the first use of the material. Pewter was used for decorative metal items and tableware in ancient times by the Egyptians and later the Romans, and came into extensive use in Europe from the Middle Ages  until the various developments in pottery and glass-making during the 18th and 19th centuries. Pewter was the chief material for producing plates, cups, and bowls until the making of porcelain.[ citation needed ] Mass production of pottery, porcelain and glass products have almost universally replaced pewter in daily life, although pewter artifacts continue to be produced, mainly as decorative or specialty items. Pewter was also used around East Asia. Although some items still exist,  Ancient Roman pewter is rare. 
Lidless mugs and lidded tankards may be the most familiar pewter artifacts from the late 17th and 18th centuries, although the metal was also used for many other items including porringers (shallow bowls), plates, dishes, basins, spoons, measures, flagons, communion cups, teapots, sugar bowls, beer steins (tankards), and cream jugs. In the early 19th century, changes in fashion caused a decline in the use of pewter flatware. At the same time, production increased of both cast and spun pewter tea sets, whale-oil lamps, candlesticks, and so on. Later in the century, pewter alloys were often used as a base metal for silver-plated objects.
In the late 19th century, pewter came back into fashion with the revival of medieval objects for decoration. New replicas of medieval pewter objects were created, and collected for decoration. Today, pewter is used in decorative objects, mainly collectible statuettes and figurines, game figures, aircraft and other models, (replica) coins, pendants, plated jewellery and so on. Certain athletic contests, such as the United States Figure Skating Championships, award pewter medals to fourth-place finishers. 
In antiquity pewter was tin alloyed with lead and sometimes copper. Older pewters with higher lead content are heavier, tarnish faster, and oxidation has a darker, silver-gray color.  Pewters containing lead are no longer used in items that will come in contact with the human body (such as cups, plates, or jewelry) due to the toxicity of lead. Modern pewters are available that are completely free of lead, although many pewters containing lead are still being produced for other purposes.[ citation needed ]
A typical European casting alloy contains 94% tin, 1% copper and 5% antimony. A European pewter sheet would contain 92% tin, 2% copper, and 6% antimony. Asian pewter, produced mostly in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, contains a higher percentage of tin, usually 97.5% tin, 1% copper, and 1.5% antimony. This makes the alloy slightly softer. 
So-called Mexican pewter is any of various alloys of aluminium used for decorative items.   
Pewter is also used to imitate platinum in costume jewelry.
Since pewter is soft at room temperature, a pewter bell does not ring clearly. Cooling it in liquid nitrogen hardens it and enables it to ring, while also making it more brittle. 
Since pewter is a softer material it can be manipulated in various ways such as being cast, hammered, lathed, and engraved.
An alloy is a mixture of chemical elements of which at least one is a metal. Unlike chemical compounds with metallic bases, an alloy will retain all the properties of a metal in the resulting material, such as electrical conductivity, ductility, opacity, and luster, but may have properties that differ from those of the pure metals, such as increased strength or hardness. In some cases, an alloy may reduce the overall cost of the material while preserving important properties. In other cases, the mixture imparts synergistic properties to the constituent metal elements such as corrosion resistance or mechanical strength.
Brass is an alloy of copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn), in proportions which can be varied to achieve different colours and mechanical, electrical, and chemical properties, but copper typically has the larger proportion. In use since prehistoric times, it is a substitutional alloy: atoms of the two constituents may replace each other within the same crystal structure.
Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12–12.5% tin and often with the addition of other metals and sometimes non-metals, such as phosphorus, or metalloids such as arsenic or silicon. These additions produce a range of alloys that may be harder than copper alone, or have other useful properties, such as strength, ductility, or machinability.
Solder is a fusible metal alloy used to create a permanent bond between metal workpieces. Solder is melted in order to wet the parts of the joint, where it adheres to and connects the pieces after cooling. Metals or alloys suitable for use as solder should have a lower melting point than the pieces to be joined. The solder should also be resistant to oxidative and corrosive effects that would degrade the joint over time. Solder used in making electrical connections also needs to have favorable electrical characteristics.
In printing, type metal refers to the metal alloys used in traditional typefounding and hot metal typesetting. Historically, type metal was an alloy of lead, tin and antimony in different proportions depending on the application, be it individual character mechanical casting for hand setting, mechanical line casting or individual character mechanical typesetting and stereo plate casting. The proportions used are in the range: lead 50‒86%, antimony 11‒30% and tin 3‒20%. Antimony and tin are added to lead for durability while reducing the difference between the coefficients of expansion of the matrix and the alloy. Apart from durability, the general requirements for type-metal are that it should produce a true and sharp cast, and retain correct dimensions and form after cooling down. It should also be easy to cast, at reasonable low melting temperature, iron should not dissolve in the molten metal, and mould and nozzles should stay clean and easy to maintain. Today, Monotype machines can utilize a wide range of different alloys. Mechanical linecasting equipment uses alloys that are close to eutectic.
The white metals are a series of often decorative bright metal alloys used as a base for plated silverware, ornaments or novelties, as well as any of several lead-based or tin-based alloys used for things like bearings, jewellery, miniature figures, fusible plugs, some medals and metal type. The term is also used in the antiques trade for an item suspected of being silver, but not hallmarked.
Die casting is a metal casting process that is characterized by forcing molten metal under high pressure into a mold cavity. The mold cavity is created using two hardened tool steel dies which have been machined into shape and work similarly to an injection mold during the process. Most die castings are made from non-ferrous metals, specifically zinc, copper, aluminium, magnesium, lead, pewter, and tin-based alloys. Depending on the type of metal being cast, a hot- or cold-chamber machine is used.
A coppersmith, also known as a brazier, is a person who makes artifacts from copper and brass. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. The term "redsmith" is used for a tinsmith that uses tinsmithing tools and techniques to make copper items.
Tombac, or tombak, is a brass alloy with high copper content and 5–20% zinc content. Tin, lead or arsenic may be added for colouration. It is a cheap malleable alloy mainly used for medals, ornament, decoration and some munitions. In older use, the term may apply to brass alloy with a zinc content as high as 28–35%.
Plating is a surface covering in which a metal is deposited on a conductive surface. Plating has been done for hundreds of years; it is also critical for modern technology. Plating is used to decorate objects, for corrosion inhibition, to improve solderability, to harden, to improve wearability, to reduce friction, to improve paint adhesion, to alter conductivity, to improve IR reflectivity, for radiation shielding, and for other purposes. Jewelry typically uses plating to give a silver or gold finish.
Britannia metal is a specific type of pewter alloy, favoured for its silvery appearance and smooth surface. The composition by weight is typically about 92% tin, 6% antimony, and 2% copper.
Gun metal, also known as red brass in the United States, is a type of bronze; an alloy of copper, tin and zinc. Proportions vary but 88% copper, 8–10% tin, and 2–4% zinc is an approximation. Originally used chiefly for making guns, it has largely been replaced by steel for that purpose. Gunmetal casts and machines well, and is resistant to corrosion from steam and salt water. It is used to make steam and hydraulic castings, valves, gears, statues and various small objects, such as buttons. It has a tensile strength of 221 megapascals (32,100 psi) to 310 megapascals (45,000 psi), a specific gravity of 8.7, a Brinell hardness of 65 to 74, and a melting point of around 1,000 degrees Celsius.
Pot metal is an alloy of low-melting point metals that manufacturers use to make fast, inexpensive castings. The term "pot metal" came about due to the practice at automobile factories in the early 20th century of gathering up non-ferrous metal scraps from the manufacturing processes and melting them in one pot to form into cast products. Small amounts of iron often made it into the castings but never in significant quantity because too much iron would raise the melting point too high for simple casting operations.
Spelter is a zinc–lead alloy that ages to resemble bronze, but is softer and has a lower melting point. The name can also refer to a copper–zinc alloy used for brazing, or to pure zinc.
Arsenical bronze is an alloy in which arsenic, as opposed to or in addition to tin or other constituent metals, is combined with copper to make bronze. The use of arsenic with copper, either as the secondary constituent or with another component such as tin, results in a stronger final product and better casting behavior.
A native metal is any metal that is found pure in its metallic form in nature. Metals that can be found as native deposits singly or in alloys include aluminium, antimony, arsenic, bismuth, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, indium, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, niobium, rhenium, selenium, tantalum, tellurium, tin, titanium, tungsten, vanadium, and zinc, as well as the gold group and the platinum group. Among the alloys found in native state have been brass, bronze, pewter, German silver, osmiridium, electrum, white gold, silver-mercury amalgam, and gold-mercury amalgam.
While the term pewter covers a range of tin-based alloys, the term English pewter has come to represent a strictly-controlled alloy, specified by BSEN611-1 and British Standard 5140, consisting mainly of tin, with the balance made up of antimony and copper. Significantly, it is free of lead and nickel. Although the exact percentages vary between manufacturers, a typical standard for present-day pewter is approximately 91% tin, 7.5% antimony and 1.5% copper.
Metals used for architectural purposes include lead, for water pipes, roofing, and windows; tin, formed into tinplate; zinc, copper and aluminium, in a range of applications including roofing and decoration; and iron, which has structural and other uses in the form of cast iron or wrought iron, or made into steel. Metal alloys used in building include bronze ; brass ; monel metal and nickel silver, mainly consisting of nickel and copper; and stainless steel, with important components of nickel and chromium.
C41100 Lubaloy is a wrought copper alloy that is composed mainly of copper and zinc. Lubaloy possesses many favorable characteristics making it, and other types of brass, a popular choice in manufacturing. It is a source material in many processes including the creation of electrical components and bullet-making. There are both positive and negative health effects that are associated with the use of this material.