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JohnQPublic
20th January 2012, 01:33 PM
Mint begins trial strikes in composition tests (http://www.coinworld.com/articles/mint-begins-trial-strikes-in-composition-test/)

Exploring replacement metals for cent, 5-cent coin

By Paul Gilkes-Coin World Staff | Jan. 17, 2012 9:44 a.m.


Coinage metal alternatives for the copper-plated zinc cent and copper-nickel Jefferson 5-cent coin were the main target of U.S. Mint officials to reduce production costs, but research and development currently under way addresses possible replacements for all circulating denominations.



The United States Mint began producing trial strikes in December at the Philadelphia Mint using nonsense dies to test potential compositional replacements for current circulating coinage alloys.


The test strikes were produced as part of a two-year research study seeking alternative metals to reduce production costs.


Additional trial strikes are scheduled to be conducted in February or March at the Philadelphia Mint, according to Tom Jurkowsky, director of the U.S. Mintís Office of Public Affairs...


...In its recommendations to the United States Mint, CTC, according to Pickens, will address various factors, such as the effect of new metallic coinage materials on the current suppliers of coinage materials; the acceptability of new metallic materials; costs of metallic material, fabrication, minting and distribution; metallic material availability and sources of raw metals; coinability; durability; effect on sorting, handling, packaging and vending machines; appearance; risks to the environment or public safety; resistance to counterfeiting; and commercial and public acceptance...

JohnQPublic
20th January 2012, 01:35 PM
I think whatever they do, it needs to be the same diameter, thickness, and weight as current coins, or all vending machines become obsolete- especially if the new coins will circulate simultaneously with the old ones.

letter_factory
20th January 2012, 01:51 PM
time to load up on some more nickels. daddy needs some new shoes.

Sparky
20th January 2012, 02:42 PM
Thanks for the update. It sounds like they might be in a position to roll this out in 2013.

Hopefully the changeover will be marked by the beginning of a new calendar year, so that we don't have to deal with a "crossover" year like the 1982 penny.

Hey, will people begin sorting and saving zinc pennies (1983-2012) the same way that copper pennies are currently sorted and saved? I'm pretty sure I'll be resisting that temptation.

Also, I think the frontrunner on the new alloy might be aluminum-steel. Does this mean we should be saving our aluminum cans rather than returning them for 5 cents? I think aluminum is quite plentiful, so I think I'll be resisting that temptation as well. Although aluminum does have a remarkable strength-to-weight ratio...

Glass
20th January 2012, 02:51 PM
I think whatever they do, it needs to be the same diameter, thickness, and weight as current coins, or all vending machines become obsolete- especially if the new coins will circulate simultaneously with the old ones.

It's a good point. In the least, the dimensions need to be the same. The weight can be adjusted for but that means the machines still need the adjusting.

big country
20th January 2012, 08:47 PM
I would say it needs to be a non-magnetic alloy too. Don't most vending machines check that too with a magnet to prevent steel slugs?