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Billon (alloy) (6275 views - Material Database)

Billon is an alloy of a precious metal (most commonly silver, but also mercury) with a majority base metal content (such as copper). It is used chiefly for making coins, medals, and token coins. The word comes from the French bille, which means "log".
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Billon (alloy)

Billon (alloy)

Billon /ˈbɪlən/ is an alloy of a precious metal (most commonly silver, but also mercury) with a majority base metal content (such as copper). It is used chiefly for making coins, medals, and token coins.

The word comes from the French bille, which means "log".[1]

Description

The use of billon coins dates from ancient Greece and continued through the Middle Ages. During the 6th and 5th centuries BC, some cities on Lesbos Island used coins made of 60% copper and 40% silver. In both ancient times and the Middle Ages, leaner mixtures were adopted, with less than 2% silver content.[2][3]

Billon coins are perhaps best known from the Roman Empire, where progressive debasements of the Roman denarius and the Roman provincial tetradrachm in the 2nd century AD led to declining silver and increasing bronze content in these denominations of coins. Eventually, by the third quarter of the 2nd century AD, these coins were almost entirely bronze, with only a thin coating or even a wash of silver.[4]

It was also used for low-denomination coins of the pound Scots: the bawbee (sixpence), turner (twopence) and penny.

See also


AlnicoAluminiumAluminium alloyAluminium-lithium alloyArsenical copperBerylliumBeryllium copperBirmabrightBismanolBismuthChromiumChromium hydrideCobaltCopperDuraluminGalliumGlassGoldHiduminiumHydronaliumIndiumIronItalmaLeadMagnaliumMagnesiumMegalliumMercuryNichromeNickelPlasticPlexiglasPlutoniumPotassiumRhodiumRose's metalSamariumScandiumSilverSodiumStainless steelSteelStelliteStructural steelTinTitaniumUraniumVitalliumWood's metalY alloyZincZirconiumBrassCalamine brassChinese silverDutch metalGilding metalMuntz metalPinchbeck (alloy)TombacBronzeAluminium bronzeArsenical bronzeBell metalFlorentine bronzeGlucydurGuanín (bronze)GunmetalPhosphor bronzeOrmoluSpeculum metalConstantanCopper hydrideCopper–tungstenCorinthian bronzeCunifeCupronickelCymbal alloysDevarda's alloyElectrumHepatizonManganinMelchior (alloy)Nickel silverMolybdochalkosNordic GoldShakudōTumbagaAlGaGalfenolGalinstanColored goldRhoditeCrown goldElinvarField's metalFernicoFerroalloyFerroceriumFerrochromeFerromanganeseFerromolybdenumFerrosiliconFerrotitaniumFerrouraniumInvarCast ironIron–hydrogen alloyPig ironKanthal (alloy)KovarStaballoySpiegeleisenBulat steelCrucible steel41xx steelDamascus steelMangalloyHigh-speed steelMushet steelMaraging steelHigh-strength low-alloy steelReynolds 531Electrical steelSpring steelAL-6XNCelestriumAlloy 20Marine grade stainlessMartensitic stainless steelSanicro 28Surgical stainless steelZeron 100Silver steelTool steelWeathering steelWootz steelSolderTerneType metalElektron (alloy)Amalgam (chemistry)Magnox (alloy)AlumelBrightrayChromelHaynes InternationalInconelMonelNicrosilNisilNickel titaniumMu-metalPermalloySupermalloyNickel hydridePlutonium–gallium alloySodium-potassium alloyMischmetalLithiumTerfenol-DPseudo palladiumScandium hydrideSamarium–cobalt magnetArgentium sterling silverBritannia silverDoré bullionGoloidPlatinum sterlingShibuichiSterling silverTibetan silverTitanium Beta CTitanium alloyTitanium hydrideGum metalTitanium goldTitanium nitrideBabbitt (alloy)Britannia metalPewterQueen's metalWhite metalUranium hydrideZamakZirconium hydrideHydrogenHeliumBoronNitrogenOxygenFluorineMethaneMezzanineAtom

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