A Brief History of Pewter

When we think of pewter, (a combination of tin, antimony, and copper) the word that pops out is tin. The next thing that pops into our mind is “tin can” which is cheap. Tin cans were in fact made from iron that was dipped in tin to capitalize on one of tin’s strong attributes, it’s ability to prevent rust. After platinum, gold and silver, Pewter is the forth-most precious metal in the world.

This wonderful metal has a long history. The origin of the word Pewter is a bit of a mystery, but it is probably an English modification of the word Middle Eastern word “spelter.” It was adopted with only slight variation by Euroupeans. The word pewter was peauter in Dutch, peutre, peautre or piautre in French, peltro in Italian and peltre in Spanish.

Pewter was used in the ancient world by Egyptians and later the Romans. It came into extensive use in the Middle Ages. During the 12th century, only wealthy nobles, merchants and church officials could afford it. By the 14th century, because of advances in production and technology, pewter was commonly used to replace wood, leather and pottery for tableware and other household items.  The growth of the pewter industry in Europe led to the establishment of guilds, which regulated the quality of work produced by pewterers. Given the name given to the guild in England, "The Worshipful Company of Pewterers" they took their work very seriously.

Roman pewter, the oldest known, which has been uncovered at various sites in England and elsewhere, was composed of tin and lead alone. The occasional traces of iron that were found are believed to have been accidental. The use of lead has, of course, been eliminated from the process. That is except for some notable recalls from products produced in China.

All of ECOSMART’S vast product line uses SAFEPEWTER™. It is the highest quality pewter in the world today, meeting or surpassing the toughest industry and governmental standards. We are proud to produce a product that is Lead-Free, Nickle-Free and Cadmium-Free. Each step of the process from casting, finishing and assembly are all done in the USA.

We pride ourselves in adding to the history of pewter in a way that is both healthy for the economy and healthy for our health.
Take a look at the vast variety of items that we produce using our SafePewter™ as both FINISHED JEWELRY and CASTINGS.

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