According to the ever-so-accurate Wikipedia, "In alchemy, a base metal was a common and inexpensive metal, as opposed to precious metals, mainly gold and silver."
In terms of chemical makeup, "In chemistry, the term base metal is used informally to refer to a metal that oxidizes or corrodes relatively easily, and reacts variably with diluted hydrochloric acid (HCl) to form hydrogen. Examples include iron, nickel, lead and zinc. Copper is considered a base metal as it oxidizes relatively easily, although it does not react with HCl. It is commonly used in opposition to noble metal."
In other words, base metal is a substitute for gold, silver, brass. It is not necessarily hypo-allergenic and can irreversibly tarnish.
answered 2 years, 11 months ago
- Kansas City, MO