U.S. Nickel worth more than a nickel again

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Phil Ham, Jan 16, 2021.

  1. Mac McDonald

    Mac McDonald Well-Known Member

    Sorry, can't/don't buy it. If it comes...just the digital currency part...it won't be in any of our lifetimes, even of those younger of us...not in terms of anything close to a total currency replacement. As for the "on or under-the-skin" marking, chip, etc...never.
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  3. Michael K

    Michael K Well-Known Member

    A nickel is only 25% nickel. So when I see the value of the metal in a nickel posted here, is that the value of 1.25 grams of nickel? Or the nickel and copper combined? Or just the cost of minting a nickel?
    And like a copper cent these coins are alloys and not Grade A and even if it weren't illegal to melt them, you aren't even close to getting your break even point. It's moot.
  4. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    That's OK. You won't have to buy it when it comes either.

    It's not here yet, but the table is set and the technology exists,
  5. BronzeAge

    BronzeAge Member

    Thanks for the info. I have two handfulls of lead weights from the roadside. Maybe I'll melt them down for free (with the sun) to make an ingot.
    Stevearino and Nyatii like this.
  6. Nyatii

    Nyatii I like running w/scissors. Makes me feel dangerous

    Good luck. You will need to use a Fresnel lens or similar. Lead melts at 621 deg.
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  7. John Burgess

    John Burgess Well-Known Member

    no it's the cost of the metals, and the alloying, and all costs factored into the per unit cost of a nickel.

    The cost to make one exceeds it's face value. and yeah, the cost to melt, and separate an alloy likely eats up all profits of trying to sell it. I am sure there is some weight amount that would make it profitable, but I don't know what that point is where it becomes profitable. Much easier and cheaper for the mint to melt the nickels down and then reprocess them into new nickels of the same composition, a one trick pony.
    Same way trying to remove gold plating isn't profitable unless you have enough of it that the recovered gold exceeds the cost of doing it. you'd need a lot to cover time, safety equipment and chemicals. although refining a 14K or 18K gold into 24K can be profitable at less weight, it's more gold in the alloy. but most folks doing it aren't going to bother trying to reclaim the silver or copper in the mix, they aren't worth the effort to do it.

    The talking point is that the cost to make a nickel exceeds the face value of it though. Scrap values are a lot different, than manufacturing costs.
  8. Phil Ham

    Phil Ham Hamster

    And it keeps on going!!!!

    Copper Lincoln: USD$0.0299906
    Nickel: USD$0.0623966
  9. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Gold recovery is different because it's a whole lot less chemically active than most of the metals it's alloyed with. There are only a few classes of things that will chemically attack gold, and it's really easy to turn the resulting products back into gold metal.

    For almost any standard alloy, though, you can come up with an economical process to separate it -- as long as there's enough of a market. Setting up the plants to do it is a big expense, and you'd need a guaranteed market to make that worthwhile.

    Now you've got me thinking more about this. US five-cent pieces are richer in nickel than any ore (25% vs low single digits). But industrial nickel production amounts to millions of TONS per YEAR. Assume we could haul in ten billion nickels -- probably a small fraction of what's out there, but a huge task to gather. That's fifty billion grams, fifty million kilograms, fifty thousand metric tons, yielding just over ten thousand metric tons of pure nickel. That's less than 1% of annual production.

    So, allowing nickels to be melted down wouldn't make a significant dent in the nickel-metal market. But if inflation makes the metal in a five-cent piece worth fifty cents, the nickel-metal market will make a significant dent in the supply of nickels.
  10. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    Like I said, sooner than you think. We resist the very idea of something this unfamiliar until it's already upon us.

    I understand. I haven't accepted "smart/android" phones yet. You'd think answering and hanging up would be the easiest things to do, not the hardest.
  11. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Don't. EVEN. Get. Me. Started.

    It's not that hard to produce something that's easy to use. Smartphone manufacturers simply refuse to, because they need to keep up with the features race, and they need to make sure that all you can see is a screen, completely unmarred by such hideous things as buttons, never mind LABELS.
    Stevearino and Marshall like this.
  12. Phil Ham

    Phil Ham Hamster

    A copper cent is now over three cents!

    Copper Lincoln: USD$0.0300048
    Nickel: USD$0.0673223
  13. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    Fortunately, the cost of extracting those elements from the coins keeps it unprofitable AT THIS TIME. However, some are already preparing for that to change by offering a slight premium over face.
  14. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    I wonder if it's more intuitive for the Chinese?
  15. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    I would've said "no, humans are humans" -- but:

    Visual perceptual abilities of Chinese-speaking and English-speaking children (PDF link)
    Culture and point of view
    We're all human, but we sure do learn to pay attention to different things, and in different ways.

    All the same, most of today's graphics- and touch-oriented interaction stems from research done in the good old U S of A. It's just that manufacturers all over the world are paying less attention to what works well, and more attention to what looks good.
    Stevearino and Marshall like this.
  16. cladking

    cladking Coin Collector

    Rather than separating the metals most coins are used as alloy or chill scrap.

    A lot of silver and gold get refined but base metal coins are not to my knowledge.

    7c worth of metal is 7c worth of metal whether it's separated or not.
  17. charley

    charley Well-Known Member

    This is another example of publish or perish, disregarding logic and applying useless comparisons and implying racial separation bordering on Racism, couched in psychological babble, to offer a perception of serious academic enquiry.

    Ever heard of the Mongolian Fold, and the difficulty encountered treating End Stage Open Angle Glaucoma (or any Glaucoma) and/or Macular Degeneration of Diabetic Retinopathy? Try to apply the "visual perceptual abilities" then, compared to African American, Caucasian, and or Hispanic or Native American (re. Chang/McGann Et Al JHU) and let me know about that visual perceptual ability superiority, and visual motor integration ability superiority is going.

    Good Lord. Really? The only part that is logical is the words "....point of view...". Really dumb on the POV sale, but it is a POV, no matter how silly.

    What is the point? Asians make a better smart phone, because they know stuff better than Caucasians know stuff, even if it isn't good stuff for other cultures?

    These types of post justification of opinion links are annoying and embarrassing to any Human with average intelligence.
  18. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    No matter what’s said and regardless of the value of the metal in a nickel, it’s only worth five cents. I don’t know of any place anywhere that will give you more for it than five cents, except with a coin collector but that’s not what I’m talking about.
  19. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    True, but in 1964, 65, 66 etc no one would pay more than face value for silver cons either. So I guess it made no sense to hang onto them as well.
  20. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    That is true. While many did get pulled from circulation, it became a source of emergency funds for a few years as the content value stayed close to face. I remember getting a fair number into the early seventies.

    But eventually the trend made it profitable to melt or as a semi precious hedge against inflation during the high inflation years of the late seventies.

    I guess everything old becomes new again.
  21. Michael K

    Michael K Well-Known Member

    While copper has been at or near an all time high recently,
    it still has to go to $6 a pound to break even, if it was legal to melt.
    The copper hoarders have been wasting time, money and storage space on
    this one for decades and will continue to do so. Eventually, they are going
    to take a small loss.
    Here's the math. A copper cent =3.1 grams. Grams in a pound 453.592. 146.32 to a pound. Price for copper that needs to be refined 25% of spot. $6 a pound= $1.50 for 146/7 pennies. Sure in 50 years you might make a profit. Good luck with that.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2022
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