Nickel silver, Mailechort, German silver, Argentan, new silver, nickel brass, albata, alpacca, or electrum is a copper alloy with nickel and often zinc. The usual formulation is 60% copper, 20% nickel and 20% zinc. Nickel silver is named for its silvery appearance, but it contains no elemental silver unless plated. The name “German silver” refers to its development by 19th-century German metalworkers in imitation of the Chinese alloy known as paktong (cupronickel). All modern, commercially important nickel silvers contain significant amounts of zinc, and are sometimes considered a subset of brass.
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