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Pewter vs Bronze – What’s the Difference

Pewter vs Bronze

Do you need clarification about which material to choose between pewter and bronze? While both are metals, but quite different in appearance, properties and uses. Artisans and craftsmen have used pewter and bronze for centuries to create different items, including jewellery, utensils, and decorative pieces. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between pewter and bronze to help you decide and choose the right material for your project.

Difference Between Pewter and Bronze

Composition and Appearance

Pewter is an alloy composed primarily of tin mixed with small amounts of copper, antimony, or bismuth. It has a dull grey or bluish-grey colour with a soft, matte finish. Pewter is known for its malleability, which makes it easy to mould and shape into various designs. On the other hand, bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, but the proportion of copper is much higher than tin. Bronze has a reddish-brown or golden-brown colour with a polished, shiny finish. It is a harder and more durable metal than pewter and can be cast into intricate designs.

Properties and Uses

Pewter is a lightweight, soft metal that is easy to work with. It has a low melting point, which makes it ideal for casting and engraving. Pewter is used to create decorative items like figurines, picture frames, and candle holders. It is also used to make cutlery and drinking vessels, as it does not affect the taste or quality of food and drink. However, pewter is less durable than bronze and can tarnish over time.

Conversely, bronze is a strong, heavy metal resistant to corrosion and wear. It is often used to make sculptures, statues, and architectural features, as it can withstand harsh weather conditions. Bronze is also used to make medals and coins, as it is a symbol of achievement and value. The hardness and durability of bronze make it suitable for outdoor use and items requiring structural strength.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Pewter is relatively easy to clean and maintain, requiring no special treatment. However, pewter can tarnish over time, so you may need a specialized cleaner to restore shine. Bronze, on the other hand, requires occasional maintenance to prevent corrosion and tarnishing. It can be cleaned with a mild soap solution or a specialized cleaner, and you can apply a protective coating to prevent further damage.

Cost and Availability

Pewter is generally less expensive than bronze, as it is easier to work with and requires fewer materials. Pewter is widely available in craft stores and online retailers. Bronze, however, is more expensive due to its durability and structural strength. Professional artists and artisans often use it, which is available from specialized metal suppliers.

Choosing the Right Material

The choice between pewter and bronze depends on the purpose of your project and your personal preference. If you make decorative pieces not exposed to harsh weather conditions, pewter may be a better choice. Pewter is also suitable for intricate detailing, such as jewellery and figurines. On the other hand, if you are making outdoor sculptures, statues, or architectural features, bronze is the ideal choice. Bronze is also suitable for items that require structural strength, such as medals and coins.


In conclusion, choosing between pewter and bronze depends on several factors, including your project’s purpose, artistic vision, and budget. Pewter is a soft, lightweight metal ideal for decorative pieces and utensils, while bronze is a strong, durable metal suitable for outdoor sculptures and statues. Understanding the differences between pewter and bronze can help you make an informed decision and choose the right material for your project.

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