JM Crafts Welsh Celtic Jewellery
Pewter Products



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All our pewter is 100% lead free.

about pewter

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About Pewter

One of the most frequent questions we get asked is 'What is pewter'?

Historically, pewter is one of the oldest metals and like bronze, is an alloy of tin and copper, the difference between the two metals being the proportion of tin to copper. In pewter, tin accounts for at least 90% of the content, so what is tin?

Firstly, it is, perhaps surprisingly, the 4th most precious metal after platinum, gold and silver, and bears no resemblance to tin cans (!), which are actually not made of tin at all. It is also a plentiful natural resource, and tin mining has very little impact, if any, on the environment. Copper, which is known to have been mined since about the 5th Century B.C., is added principally as a hardening agent. Also added is a small amount of Antimony, a metallic substance which hardens soft metals and also improves the capacity to reproduce detail.

Why have we chosen to work in Pewter?

Primarily because we want to! Pewter is a beautiful metal with a unique soft lustre which truly enhances the ancient celtic patterns we incorporate into our hand-crafted jewellery. It has a wonderful and rich history; the oldest known piece of pewterware dates from B.C., and by the 12th & 13th centuries it was widely used by the wealthy to adorn the tables of castle halls and palaces, and by the Church for chalices and plates.

Pewter fell out of fashion for tableware with the arrival of mass produced pottery towards the end of the 18th century, and it is only in the last century that it has enjoyed a renaissance as the chosen metal for a wide range of giftware and jewellery. So when you buy a piece of pewter today, you are not only buying a beautiful piece of jewellery to wear, you are also buying a small piece of a historical tradition which goes back centuries and a piece of Welsh heritage.

How does Pewter keep it's lustre?

Unlike silver, pewter doesn't tarnish, and will keep it's lustre with very little care - just wash gently with warm soapy water and dry with a soft cloth. If, particularly in damp conditions, pewter becomes dull, it can be cleaned with a metal polish prior to washing.