During the Roman Iron Age Germanic cratsmen had to import the material for non-ferrous metalworking from the Roman Empire. Hence recycling was an important source of material for the smithies. Yet copper-alloys were generally used very specifically, depending on their technical properties. A comparison of the fine forging technology employed by the Romans and Germanic people reveals significant differences: complex surface treatment techniques such as gold leaf gilding, enamelling and niello were apparently not adopted by Germanic cratsmen in the 1st to 3rd centuries AD. Nevertheless many arguments speak in favour of a differentiated, partly highly specialised crat depending on individual skills as well as access to specialised knowledge and precious raw materials, with a cum grano salis ‘Germanic court art’ beginning as early as the early 1st century AD.