Pewter has been used everywhere since antiquity. From Latin stannum or stagnum, it was mostly used for an alloy of lead and silver.
From Great Britain, the tin road crossed Gaul before taking the River Rhône and was one objective of Caesar’s conquest, which was to secure this specific supply route, or more precisely, to take its control over the Gauls and Greeks who exported tin via the Port of Marseille.
France has stopped its pewter production since 1975. The last mines were in Brittany (Saint Renan) and had an output of 500 tonnes per year.
Tin, the main component of pewter, is extracted from a mineral called ’cassiterite’ or tinstone and is found in nature mixed with other underground mineral deposits. The procedures needed to separate the tinstone from the other minerals are demanding.
Tin has a very high degree of malleability. When broken it makes a characteristic sound, known as the tin cry.
Does pewter contain lead?
All toxic elements have been excluded from modern alloys and the European Union (EU) has dictated strict regulations regarding its composition. Antimony, copper and bismuth are carefully measured to guarantee its use for food contact materials, and the addition of a small percentage of silver has been permitted in the alloy.
The alloy we now use for all our products meets all the UE and US requirements for food contact materials.