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The in's and out's of White Metal

Hello everyone,

I have an opportunity to take a class in white metal for making
costume jewelry. I construct costume jewelry now out of brass,
gold-fill etc. I’ve been making jewelry for a couple of years and
have trained off and on in my spare time. I don’t know much about
white metals, so I’m looking for someone who has experience in the
industry to elaborate on their use and if taking this class could be
helpful to a novice designer.

A. Derenthal
Cry Baby Designs

 I have an opportunity to take a class in white metal for maki=


 costume jewelry.  

I never HEARD of such a class. But it sure makes sense - there is
so much non-precious-metal jewelry out there. Is there more
available? Even though I use silver, there are times
I’d like to know more about items people bring me.


Rule number one: get a set of inexpensive files for pewter/tin/lead
and never let them near your precious metals. It can eat pits at
silver solder temperatures. Also keep a separate file cleaner for
those files.

It melts in the 500F range, I frequently do demonstrations using a
charcoal brazier for the melt, and it’s generally perfect for sand
and stone mold casting.

You can use silicon molds for repeat copies.

Wash your hands especially if you feel the insane need to deal with
real lead-tin pewter, decent ventilation is a good idea in general
(the tin isn’t really an issue, but the antimony in the alloy isn’t
something you really need a concentrated dose of).

Otherwise, especially for costume (theatrical costume, re enactors,
etc.) jewelry, the modern pewter alloy has a decent white color, and
generally doesn’t grey tarnish like classic pewter. It is heavy,
though, a belt with a number of pewter findings is surprisingly

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL
@Ron_Charlotte1 OR


We at school used alpaca before getting trained in silver and gold.
It’s a white metal (copper/nickel/zinc -alloy). It’s very easy in use
and resembles silver in color (not at max. polish). We used normal
silver-solders and flux.

Hope this helps.