Silverwork of Burma – Silver Content

Joseph Cohen Harry Tilly, Silver 416 Views

U nder the Burmese Government, the buying and selling of silver might only be conducted under the supervision of a licensed broker, and each piece was named and marked in accordance with a regular scale: for example, rupee silver was said to correspond to (Burmese writing excluded) or a mixture of –



  • Pure silver
    Copper
    Lead
    Total
  • 10 ticals
    ½ tical
    ½ tical
    11

While the China dollar was thought to correspond to (burmese writing excluded) or a mixture of –

  • Pure silver
    Copper
    Lead
  • 10 ticals
    1 tical
    1 tical

And so on, through many variations.

The best silver from the mines was of a standard known as (burmese writing excluded) Ngwe zin baw pyu and when to this was added ½ per cent. of copper and ½ per cent. of lead it was called (burmese writing excluded) Ywet ni. This variety can now be obtained in the market and is used to improve the quality of silver handed to the silversmith.

Silver is purified of zinc and copper by melting it in a crucible and adding a small quantity of lead, on which the greater part of the alloys are given off in gas. The addition of lead is repeated if necessary.

In our days, English bar is used by the silversmiths of large towns, but in the district rupees are still melted down, especially for small work.



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Joseph CohenSilverwork of Burma – Silver Content