Gold Index Page

Main Page
Sovereign Information Sovereigns For Sale
Year 2000 Sovereigns
Krugerrand Information
Krugerrands For Sale
Gold Bars
Bars Information
Bars For Sale
Half Sovereigns
Half Sovereign Information
Half Sovereigns For Sale
Year 2000 Half Sovereigns
We Buy Gold Coins
About Us
About Us
Our Selling Terms
Order Form UK
Order Form USA

Electrum is a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver. Typically it may contain between 50% to 80% of gold, with a complementary amount of silver. In most electrum deposits there will also be some amounts of copper, this can vary up to as much as about 20% in some places. Other metallic elements may also be present in small amounts.

The word electrum comes from the Greek word elektron, referring to the gold silver alloy, although the same word is also used for amber, in both cases this is because of its pale yellow colour. The word itself appears to have come from the Greek word for brilliant or the sun, and used to describe a yellow colour. Incidentally the English word electron is so called because of the strongly electrostatic properties of amber when rubbed.

We may try to reproduce the Greek word for electrum here when we can figure out how to reproduce it in HTML codes.

Early Coins
Some of the earliest known coins were made of electrum, probably in Lydia around 643 BC.
In about 643 to 630 B.C., the Lydians had started to produce the first coins. They were quite crude, and were made of electrum, a naturally occurring pale yellow mixture of gold and silver. These first coins were similar in composition to alluvial deposits found in the silt of the River Pactolus, which ran through the Lydian capital, Sardis.
Its use seems to have continued until at least 350 BC.
See our Brief History of Gold Coins page.

Base Metal
According to our copy of The Oxford English Dictionary, the word electrum has also been used for a modern (circa 1875) base metal alloy containing copper and zinc with tin, nickel or both. Presumably this also had a pale yellow colour and was made in imitation of natural or native electrum, and probably used for costume jewellery.


"Tax Free Gold" website is owned and operated by Chard (1964) Limited
32 - 36 Harrowside, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 1RJ, England. Telephone (44) - (0) 1253 - 343081; Fax 408058;
E-mail: Contact Us  The URL for our main page is:

EV SSL Certificate