What Is Pot Metal Used in Costume Jewelry?

It's a common term referenced with 1930s pieces

Back of 1930s Eisenberg pot metal dress clip
Jay B. Siegel for ChicAntiques.com

Definition: a generic term for base metal alloys used in costume jewelry manufacture; while it is most often plated with gold or silver, during the 1930s many pieces were left unplated as a cost-saving measure and collectors refer to these pieces as "pot metal" when describing them; pot metal usually has a dull finish akin to pewter when left unplated.

Also Known As: base metal

Examples: Angela learned the term pot metal not only refers to base metal alloys used to manufacture costume jewelry but also to unplated pieces dating to the 1930s.