Tin is a metal mineral that is very soft and malleable. Because of these properties, tin is hardly ever used on its own. Instead, it is combined with other metals to either form alloys or to act as a protective covering.
Pewter is a tin alloy consisting of over 90% tin. The remaining metals in pewter could be silver, lead and bismuth. Nowadays, the lead content of pewter has been drastically reduced as awareness in the harmful effects of lead increases. Being a tin based alloy, pewter is also highly malleable but not as soft due to the adding of antimony and copper. This extra strength that pewter has over tin makes it very good candidate for creating works of art. Pewter vases, picture frames, souvenirs and artwork can be found almost anywhere in the world. Elegant versions of tin containers are pewter containers that can be used for storing jewelry, expensive cigars or be made into musical boxes. The added shininess of pewter due to the mixing of silver into the tin content gives the pewter container an added elegance.
The tin cans that we are used to are metal containers covered in tin. Since tin will not rust or react with food, it forms a protective barrier that keeps the food inside safe. Production costs can also be kept low due to the easy handling of tin when making tin cans. Ease of manufacturing allows factories to produce not just tin cans but also tin containers in many shape and sizes. Tall cylindrical tin spaghetti containers add a touch of art to the kitchen shelf. Cookies boxed in tin containers give out the feel of receiving a special gift when handed over to someone. Even biscuits were sold in airtight tin containers once upon a time. Modern biscuits in tin containers are wrapped in plastic first as the tin container can still allow some air inside.
Tin containers are also taken to school in the form of tin lunchboxes and tin pencil cases. These tin accessories are often brightly colored and sometimes even embossed with popular themes or cartoon characters.
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