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topic 18565

Are my pewter goblets safe?


I recently bought pewter goblets from a tag sale. They are marked "Raimond Italy" on the bottom of each goblet. How can we tell if they are safe to drink from? Is is possible to test the metal for lead content? Alternatively, is it possible to coat the goblets in some way?

Marjorie G [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Scarsdale, New York, USA


Hi Marjorie,

First off, is your pewter a very dark colour? If it's a lighter colour, then probably it's also a lighter material and is alloyed and not 100% lead.

I have one pewter mug which, back in the late 1700's, had mfg. markings and place marks on the lip. A very dark pewter. Also, very, very often used as those markings are virtually smoothed out (by lips, of course).

Once thing is for damned sure. All those who drank from that mug are DEAD. But because of lead poisoning, who knows? I doubt it otherwise the English race would become obliterated !

And no manufacturer in them thar days put their name on it like your modern ones have...that's recent and I'd guess/assume that you sure could drink, now and then, with impunity from it many times.

freeman newton portrait
Freeman Newton
White Rock, British Columbia, Canada

(It is our sad duty to
advise that Freeman passed away
April 21, 2012. R.I.P. old friend).


Won't someone answer the question of the safety and date of origin of the Raimond Italy Pewter Goblets? I also have 6 of them. Thank you.

Penny L [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- New Bern, North Carolina

April 12, 2008

Pewter is a metal alloy, traditionally between 85 and 99 percent tin, with the remainder consisting of copper and antimony, acting as hardeners.
The addition of lead is employed for the lower grades of pewter, which have a bluish tint.
Are yours bluish?

Michael Honeycan
- cincinnati, Ohio

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