Electrum dates back to the ancient Egyptians (long before the
Greeks) and was both naturally occurring and alloyed. Thin sheets
were often used to gild objects and sculpture, including possibly the
pyramidal tops of obelisks, so that they would reflect brilliantly in
the sun. I don’t know how it received its Latin name along the way.
Why do we call loop in loop chains ‘Roman’?
What I was taught and my own experience with electrum is that the
alloy should never be a perfect 50/50% split. It should be 51% and
49%, divided either way. (Of course this gets into stamping content
issues.) If made 50/50, it work hardens too quickly and is very
brittle. Tipping the balance even just a hair makes the alloy butter
to work with, but it work hardens unexpectedly well, considering it
is made up solely of fine metal. Working with electrum made it easy
for me to understand why people were so drawn to alchemy in the past.
Such alloying can seem magical.
The color range is pale green gold to warm silver, to pale yellow. It
works well for high karat granulation where a contrast of granules
and background is required and also for fused bezels.