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Niello

Embossed or etched metal, especially silver, is inlaid with niello, a mixture of sulphur, copper, silver, and lead. As a powder or paste, it is applied, then melted or softened before flowing into the engraved lines in the metal. It hardens and blackens when cool, and the niello on the flat surface is polished off to show the filled lines in black, contrasting with the polished metal (usually silver) around it.

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