from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An alloy of zinc, copper and nickel, closely resembling silver, of Chinese origin; any of a number of similar alloys developed in imitation of the Chinese product.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The Chinese name of the alloy known as German silver (which see, under silver). Also, erroneously, packfong or pakfong.
Another conspicuous problem is that no paktong items earlier than the Ming period (1368 – 1644) have even been found in Yunnan. 81
Additionally, since there were no other sources of paktong at the time, where else, other than Yunnan, could it have come from?
This was the first discovery of nickel in the western world, but an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc - paitung or paktong - was used in China as far back as 235 B.C.E. for utensils and other metal ware.
73 Cupro-nickel, or paktong (from the Chinese term baitong, literally meaning "white copper"), had been tested by nineteenth-century scientists, and they proposed "that the nickel of the Graeco-Indian coins must have come overland somehow from China; thus initiating what came to be called the 'the Bactrian nickel theory.'"
79 Schuyler Van R. Cammann highlights the alloy theory's flaw: If paktong traveled through the SSR, why were nickel alloys not found in other sites in India?
76 Here Needham refers to Yunnan, and he is "inclined to believe" that paktong was shipped from Yunnan and passed through Xinjiang. 77 Obviously, Needham forgot the route through Burma.
45Needham insists that "the ratios of the constituents in the Bactrian alloys (copper, lead, iron, nickel, and cobalt) are closely similar to those in classical Chinese paktong," and that "out of nine known Asian nickel deposits only those in China would have been likely to give the ratios found."