Europeanpewter has a minimum tin content of 92% although many of thesemanufacturers raise this to 95% and some even to 97% tin. The higherthe tin content, the more silver the final color.
Pewter dates back to the Roman days and was only something the rich and wealthy could afford.
Despite contrary beliefs today's pewter is perfectly safe to eat and drink from. Modern pewter contains no leadas it once did. How can you tell if your pewter items have lead inthem? This is a question that gets asked quite often. Read on to findout...The result of lead in pewter is agrayish-black patina on the surface of the item. The amount ofdarkening and type of oxidation can vary depending on the type ofenvironment the items are left in.
Startingcenturies ago, pewter pieces were branded or etched into the finishedproducts to show that it was a quality product. The mark usuallyconsisted of the mark of the city combined with the maker's mark. Astime went on, the pewter makers started to use their own symbols andmarks. It was at this point the guilds stepped in and brought forthrules and regulations for the stamps.
Alloyregulations were put forth because the amount of tin in the productmade a difference in the quality. Certain quality marks were put intoeffect for good, better and best.Two of these known high quality marks are the crown with the rose and the ore angel Michael holding a sword in one hand and a balance in the other which dates back to the 18th century.
So,although policies and rules have been tried to be put forth, they arenot always followed when it comes to identifying the quality of thepewter. The best advice we can give you is to ask what the pewtercontent is and make sure you are buying from a reputable company. TheFDA requires that the tin content be at least 92% in order to bequalified as "food safe" and you will find some companies go evenbeyond this point with up to 97% pewter. Even though the pewter contentmay be where it should be, who makes the products is also extremelyimportant as we all know that quality can vary between differentcompanies.