One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A natural or artificial alloy of gold with at least 20 per cent of silver, used for jewellery, especially in ancient times.
- ‘Gold content of naturally occurring electrum in modern Western Anatolia ranges from 70% to 90%.’
- ‘Numismatists firmly believe that the first coins were made of electrum, a naturally-occurring alloy mostly of gold and silver, with traces of other metals.’
Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek ēlektron ‘amber, electrum’.
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