Metal and Alloys

Soome 1p and 2p pieces contain nickel and some don't - it depends on the year in which they were made How could you find out which years the coins containing nickel were amde in?


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First isolated in 1751 by Cronstedt, an event commemorated by Canada in 1951 with a special 5c piece. However, the element is present in alloy form in early Bactrian coins dating from about 200 BC.

Usually used in an alloy with copper (see cupro-nickel) or iron (see stainless steel), although the pure metal has been (and is) used a great deal, notably for the coins of Switzerland and Canada. It was first used in this form by Switzerland in 1881. The pure metal is magnetic, and is noticeably yellower than some of the silvery metals such as chromium and aluminium.

In 1965 the United States produced pattern coins in a 95% nickel 5% silicon alloy, but it appears that all specimens were melted down.

There is some concern that a number of people are allergic to nickel, thus the avoidance of this element in alloys used for the new euro coins.