Alternate Metals for coins

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by mrbrklyn, May 16, 2012.

  1. mrbrklyn

    mrbrklyn New Member

    With the increasing cost of Copper, Nickel and even Iron, Iw as thinking that new metals might need to be used for coinage, inorder to free of those metal reserves for industrial purposes. One metal sort of sticks out in my mind because it is very abundant, cheap and resistant to corrosion, which is zirconium. We have a number of Metallurgist here, what are your thoughts?

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  3. Kirkuleez

    Kirkuleez 80 proof Supporter

    There are very specific guidelines when it come to size and weight of a coin for numerous reasons. Zirconium if I remember properly an spontaneously combust. Not a very wise choice for coinage.
  4. mrbrklyn

    mrbrklyn New Member

    It only combust at high temperature. Hardly spontaneous and they using it Nuclear power plants.
  5. Kirkuleez

    Kirkuleez 80 proof Supporter

    I wasn't sure if my memory served me correctly, but check out the MSDS. It can spontaneously combust if ground into a powder. On second thought, I think I like the idea, I own a very nice bench grinder that I hardly ever use anymore. I can save money on fireworks and spend it on coins instead.
  6. KTO

    KTO Eager to Learn

    Greater minds than mine have been at work on this issue, so I will just report what they have already found. Of course, the US has been using copper-clad zinc for the Lincoln cent since 1982. Zinc oxidizes too readily to recommend its use as a solo metal (see German wartime coins), but an aluminum-magnesium alloy could hold up well and, clad on a zinc base, would be an inexpensive coin to produce.

    Another inexpensive alternative could be a clad coin with a base metal of steel. The UK has been using copper-clad steel for the 1p and 2p "bronze" coins since 1992 (except the 1998 2p), and this past January began releasing nickel-clad steel for the 5p and 10p. An important consideration, though, is that changing the weights and especially the magnetic properties of coins will cause many downstream issues for businesses that depend on coin-sorting devices.

    By the way, David Hamric, the owner of Mettalium, Inc. has made a series of coins from the elements for collectors. He reported that the zirconium coin was "the hardest, toughest metal we have worked with up to this point, harder than hafnium or molybdenum." You can read more about his results with each metal at:

  7. longnine009

    longnine009 Hammer of the gods

    The U.S mint struck experimental bronze clad steel cents
    along with the aluminum cents in 1973. I believe they
    also experimented with plastic cents during WWll.
  8. areich

    areich America*s Darling

    Maybe an Alloy of such?
  9. longnine009

    longnine009 Hammer of the gods

    Plastic might work. They could save on re-tooling by
    outsourcing to china. Plastic money made in china.
    That sounds about right.
  10. gxseries

    gxseries Coin Collector

    Aluminum - something North Korea specializes in with cheap cheap metal.
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