The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest single find of Anglo-Saxon material found in England to date. It represents the warrior elite, is dated to the Early Saxon period and consists of gold and silver items, mostly weapon fittings, with a few copper alloy cores. The metals in the Hoard were examined as part of a much larger research project. The composition of the gold was examined using scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (SEM-EDX); X-ray fluorescence (XRF) was used to examine the silver and copper alloys. The results suggest the gold and silver alloys are either mixed or recycled. The copper alloys appear to be tin bronzes, which seems to contradict other copper alloy studies of this period. The compositions of the three alloys are however fairly consistent, suggesting that even if recycled the alloy composition was potentially being controlled by the metal smith.
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