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Zinc White

Zinc White.  Another name for Chinese white (zinc oxide), a white powdery material used to cover a metal surface to draw or scribe on it for performing metal cutting or engraving. Similar coatings for metal surfaces are precipitated chalk and dye blue.  See Chinese white.

Zinc oxide, when combined with bismuth nitrate, becomes a patina chemical, useful both for applying a white patina to metal surfaces, or to lighten other colors of patinas. See patina. (Ironically, zinc oxide is also a corrosion on pure zinc coins and medals, see white rust.)

excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


Roger W. Burdette, Editor

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