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The Price of Metal



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 24th 20, 08:04 PM posted to rec.collecting.coins
John Savard[_2_]
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Posts: 3
Default The Price of Metal

Canadians are less jealous of their liberty than Americans, and they let the
government get away with more.

So Canada went over to the metric system.

And Canada abolished the penny, and the dollar bill. So while the Susan B. Anthony
dollar failed in the United States, in Canada we have the "loonie", which is
somewhat similar.

Canada has rich nickel mines, but we would have to import copper. So in 1968, when
we got around to dropping silver from our coins (they switched from 800 fine to
500 fine in the middle of 1967) the new coins were made from nickel, which is
magnetic, so all the vending machines had to be changed.

Eventually, due to the price of nickel, we changed the nickel to be made out of
steel, and then, around the year 2000, the dime and quarter were also changed in
this manner even though it wasn't urgently needed. This required some tweaking to
vending machines.

If Canada had chosen to keep its coinage magnetic, to minimize adjustments to
vending machines, I wondered what it would have implied.

I found out, from searching, that iron is only about $88 (US) a ton, and the
cheapest non-magnetic metal is lead, nine times more expensive than iron. Any
other metals, even those I expected to be the cheapest, like zinc and aluminum,
are 20 times more expensive than iron or more.

Chromium was over $5000 a ton a few years ago, but it's back down in price. So
austenitic stainless steel appears to be the least expensive non-magnetic
metal, at least it's the least expensive one which is common enough in use that I
could turn up information about it.

I was surprised to learn that iron is so much cheaper than other metals, as it
requires very high temperatures to separate it from its ores, although ever
since the Bronze Age gave way to the Iron Age, achieving those temperatures is
no longer really a challenge.

John Savard
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  #2  
Old January 24th 20, 09:12 PM posted to rec.collecting.coins
John Savard[_2_]
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Posts: 3
Default The Price of Metal

On Friday, January 24, 2020 at 12:04:55 PM UTC-7, John Savard wrote:

Chromium was over $5000 a ton a few years ago, but it's back down in price.


Oops, that was Manganese. Chromium is more expensive, at $7000 per ton.

John Savard
  #3  
Old January 24th 20, 09:16 PM posted to rec.collecting.coins
John Savard[_2_]
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Posts: 3
Default The Price of Metal

On Friday, January 24, 2020 at 1:12:49 PM UTC-7, John Savard wrote:
On Friday, January 24, 2020 at 12:04:55 PM UTC-7, John Savard wrote:

Chromium was over $5000 a ton a few years ago, but it's back down in price.


Oops, that was Manganese. Chromium is more expensive, at $7000 per ton.


Manganese steel is very hard, so it would be impossible to mint, but it is a
cheaper non-magnetic metal.

John Savard
 




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