German silver is an alloy of nickel, copper, and zinc. Its quality is designated by figures which indicate the percentage of nickel in the mixture. It is called white metal when containing 18% or more of nickel. As the percentage of nickel is reduced, its color shades off towards the yellow color of brass. While German silver is not so soft and ductile as brass, it may be worked and spun to shapes on chucks of lathes. The metal has a very fine, dense grain, takes a high polish, is non-corrosive under atmospheric influences, and is extensively employed in the manufacture of knives, forks, spoons, etc., for table use.