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13 April, 2006

The mettle of our money

If one ignores the implied triumphalism at the suggestion that the US one cent coin might soon be worth more as scrap metal than as currency, the BBC has an interesting article about the metallic content of UK money.

I already knew the central fact, but it still seems a bit odd: the UK's 'copper' coins (1p & 2p) are steel merely electroplated with copper, whereas our 'silver' coins (5p, 10p, 20p & 50p) are 75%, er, copper.

Incidentally, 'mettle', meaning 'inherent quality' really is a verbal coinage derived from 'metal'. Just because it's a pun doesn't mean it's inaccurate....

[Update 17/12/06: Earlier in the week, I read that it's now a Federal offence (offense, even) to melt down US coins for the scrap value, so it must be a genuine problem.]

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