Pewter Safety

Pewter Safety

Modern pewter is entirely safe to use for food and drink. In the distant past, pewter contained small amounts of lead, but this has not been true for a long time now.

All our pewter products are made from lead-free pewter so are safe to eat or drink from.

Tarnished Pewter Tankard As modern pewter contains no lead it is perfectly safe to eat and drink from, however older antique pieces of pewter may contain traces of lead. How can you tell? Pewter items containing lead will develop a greyish-black colouration or ‘patina’ on the surface.

The levels of fading will depend on the type of environment the items are stored in. Most people tend to leave the discolouration on as it gives a piece an antique look, something which modern pewter manufacturers try to replicate. The patina that forms on lead based pewter acts as a protective layer and should not be attempted to be removed.

Lead free pewter items can also oxidize over time but the process takes much longer and they tend to develop a more greyish colour.

Photo courtesy of the Canadian Conservation Institute.