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Thread: Probably silver, possibly pewter?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy brewer12345's Avatar
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    Probably silver, possibly pewter?

    I bought a junk pewter lot for a modest amount of money. As I sorted through the stuff, one item was a small pepper mill that was stamped Peugeot on the steel grinder part. A bit of googling suggests that this is a vintage silver grinder, but it sure looks like pewter. It is only a thin sheet of metal over a wood body, so we are not talking about more than a few ounces at best. Is there an obvious way to figure out what the metal is (silver or pewter)? Toss it in the pot when I melt down other pewter and see if it stays solid? It looks like the melting point of sterling silver is over 1600 degrees, so I can't see what harm tossing it in the pot would do considering tin melts under 500 degrees.
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    Boolit Buddy maxreloader's Avatar
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    silver-plated? If its actual silver you may have just paid for your whole purchase. Look for "sterling" or "925". I usually set the unknown pewter/babbit/questionables off to the side to deal with later. And that pile gets bigger and bigger.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy brewer12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxreloader View Post
    silver-plated? If its actual silver you may have just paid for your whole purchase. Look for "sterling" or "925". I usually set the unknown pewter/babbit/questionables off to the side to deal with later. And that pile gets bigger and bigger.
    What I could find online in a brief search is that it is sterling, but who knows. Can't be more than a couple ounces or so of metal. What would I do with it if it is silver?
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

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    Boolit Buddy
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    You probably know from your research that the current price is.........a scrap buyer/pawnbroker will give 1/2 of this.........I keep any silver for silver soldering......I went thru my old coin collection using all the silver coins ,a lot cheaper than buying the solder.

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    Boolit Master
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    Yeah, silver is nice but it's not worth much.
    I have a 1964 silver quarter in Very Good condition. It's worth $5-$6, maybe.
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    Boolit Buddy BNE's Avatar
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    If there is no value to the piece itself, historical etc, then seeing if you can melt it would work. (I can XrF it for you if you want.)

    Silver will alloy with lead nicely. The eutectic point is 2.27% Ag and 97.73%. Silver would make the alloy harder and tougher. Similar to what Tin does, but better. It is cost prohibitive. I don't know for sure, but I think if you started with a molten pot of soft (pure) lead, you could stir the silver in and it should alloy with the lead without having to get really hot. 700F should do it. (Once alloyed, the alloy will melt at 572F.)
    I have played around with this a little bit. Not enough to be an expert. So this is just free info!
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    $17.28 per oz for silver right now, if sterling then multiply that by .925. so maybe $30 worth of silver. It might be worth more on ebay though as a functional piece...

    https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...p2045573.m1684

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    Boolit Buddy
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    Wasn't there a company that marketed their cast bullets as being alloyed with silver? I would guess in small amounts only, and honestly don't know if it made a difference to the alloy.

    I think lead ores are often silver bearing, and have read that the extracted silver is a large part of the profit of lead refining.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin c View Post
    Wasn't there a company that marketed their cast bullets as being alloyed with silver? I would guess in small amounts only, and honestly don't know if it made a difference to the alloy.

    I think lead ores are often silver bearing, and have read that the extracted silver is a large part of the profit of lead refining.
    Cant remember who they were. I always wondered if their silver content was so low it just wasn't worth the time to extract, maybe they decided to leave it in as a marketing strategy.
    Lead and silver are often found in the same ore so it makes sense to separate them as well as you can, but if the silver content is too low the end result is literally not worth it.
    Last edited by JSnover; 01-05-2018 at 12:33 PM.
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    Boolit Buddy billyb's Avatar
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    Lazer cast says they have silver in the alloy.

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    Boolit Buddy OldBearHair's Avatar
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    Silver plate your cast bullets and give one to someone and then ride off on your horse and someone would say " Who was that masked man". Lol

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    Pure Silver's Brinell hardness = 245–250 so if the Lone Ranger handed me a silver bullet and it wasn't in a sabot or paper patched, I'd be rather suspicious that something was wrong there...

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy brewer12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldBearHair View Post
    Silver plate your cast bullets and give one to someone and then ride off on your horse and someone would say " Who was that masked man". Lol
    Hilarious!
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by billyb View Post
    Lazer cast says they have silver in the alloy.
    I think laser cast has silver in the alloy because it is nor refined out like the good lead. I saw a program on that somewhere. Anyway silver comes with lead naturally so they are not spending extra to add silver.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Your little grinder is maybe worth a few bucks more as an antique or curio. Sounds like a neat flea market find but not enough pewter (if it had been) to help you out with your alloy. Put it on an auction site, see if you can get $20 and buy some tin.
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