What is Billon
Billon is a silver-colored alloy containing a precious metal, usually silver or mercury, along with a base metal like copper [1, 2]. Its name is derived from the French word ‘bille’ that means ‘log’ . It was a popular metal alloy used during the ancient times and throughout the Middle Ages in Greece and Rome [2, 3].
|Silver/Mercury||Less than 50% [1, 2]|
|Copper||More than 50% |
It is commonly used for producing medals, coins, and token coins .
- Some cities on the Lesbos Island in Greece used coins containing 40% silver and 60% copper during the 6th and 5th centuries BC .
- Scottish bawbee coins were made from billon and were used during the reign of James V .
- The Romans used antoninianus, a billon coin introduced by Emperor Caracalla in 215 AD, was made of bronze and a minimum amount of silver .
- A Japanese billon named shakudo (containing 4-10 percent gold and 96-90 percent copper) can be used to produce indigo or black patina .
- Billon – Museunacional.cat
- Billon (alloy) – Theinfolist.com
- Choosing Which Metal To Use: Part 3 – Eirny.com
- Shakudo – Aemetal.com.au