Nickel Canadian Quarters
Periodic Table Poster   My periodic table poster is now available!Periodic Table PosterPeriodic Table PosterPeriodic Table Poster
SoundCanadian Quarters.
My Canadian colleague George Beck brought these back from Canada after I read that Canadian quarters before 2000 were made out of almost pure nickel. It's nice to know that the Canadians know how much their money is worth, eh? Rather than unleash this stack of funny money on the American vending machine market, I'm keeping it in the table as a nickel sample.

I also have Canadian one-dollar and 5-cent coins, also made of nickel.

Reader Anders Mikkelsen from Norway sent the following fascinating data from Canadian coins he has had analyzed for their nickel content (I guess Canadian money doesn't just contaminate the US coin supply, it works its way all the way to Norway):
1978 Dime:
Ni: 90.6
Mo: 0.38
Nb: 3.34
Bi: 2.0
Ag: 0.03

1995 Dime:
Ni: 97.12
Bi: 0.9
Zr: 0.41
Nb: 1.05
Mo: 0.12
Fe: 0.13
Co: 0.12

1969 Nickel:
Ni: 94.57
Nb: 2.08
Fe: 0.24
Pb: 0.34

1973 Nickel:
Ni: 90.33
Mo: 0.5
Nb: 3.8
Zr: 0.87
Bi: 2.85
Fe: 0.33

1979 Nickel:
Ni: 95.27
Bi: 0.92
Zr: 0.45
Nb: 1.85
Pd: 0.16
Fe: 0.21
Mn: 0.19

1972 Quarter:
Ni: 99.66 (!)
Fe: 0.03
Mn: 0.17
Notice the last one: Nearly pure nickel, exactly as expected! But even the others are very high in nickel, though not all as high as claimed by the Canadian mint on their website. Not sure which numbers are more reliable: XRF tests of the surface of a coin have many potential sources of error, but on the other hand pronouncements on the official website of a mint may not always correspond exactly to what raw materials their suppliers sold them in any given year.

Source: Canada
Contributor: George Beck
Acquired: 12 June, 2002
Text Updated: 16 March, 2009
Price: $10
Size: 2.5"
Purity: >90%
Sample Group: Coins