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25 January, 2007

Random queries no. 95

One of a series of genuine search engine enquiries which successfully brought visitors to the Ministry.  Can I help?

copper isn't magnetic, so how come 1p and 2p are?

You're nearly there... go on, make the leap of logic....

Copper isn't magnetic, therefore the UK's lowest denomination coins can't be copper. They're actually steel (and hence magnetic) electroplated with a tiny amount of yes, copper.

As I mentioned earlier, the paradox is that the UK's 'silver' (white metal) coins are 75% copper. That's just perverse.


From 1992, copper coins of the UK are made from copper-plated steel (with the exception of a number of 2p coins in 1998 which were made in bronze)

Steel is ferromagnetic, hence the attraction.

A search for cupro-nickel in Google will take you to the Royal Mint site, where you can find the current specification of all British coins.

Incidentally, our silver coins do not contain any silver.

Posted by Allan at January 31, 2007 02:08 PM

Er, yes. Barring a couple of tangential details, that's precisely what I said.

Posted by NRT at January 31, 2007 04:02 PM
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