Page 1 of 2 12>
Topic Options
#1457296 - 11/21/06 09:27 AM Determining if coin is silver or copper-nickel
curtisbalvanz Offline
Just got here


Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 2
New Forum member here.

I have been collecting silver coins from around the world for close to four years now. Most of the time, I have tried to avoid coins that were minted in both silver and copper-nickel - unless a Certificate of Authenticity was included.

I have been able to acquire a silver coin from every country in all the continents except Africa (still need a coin from nine countries there). I also have a coin from several island countries ("Oceania").

Needless to say, it is getting harder to avoid considering coins from the few remaining countries needed to complete my collection that have both silver and copper-nickel versions.

How can one tell the difference? I have a coin that I know is copper-nickel, but it is a "frosted" Proof coin that looks as nice as any silver Proof coins that I have. I also have what I suspect is a copper-nickel coin that was sold to me as silver Proof, but it does not have the "frosted" appearance of other silver proofs.

Sometimes I can find similar coins on eBay (that have certificates), which will help me to determine if what I have is silver or not.

Other than that, how can I determine a coin's composition if I have one that I am unsure of?

Best regards,
Curtis

Top
Share
#1457297 - 11/21/06 09:37 AM Re: Determining if coin is silver or copper-nickel [Re: curtisbalvanz]
Stanley Offline
Chatzilla


Registered: 06/27/05
Posts: 2351
Loc: Southwest Desert
I believe the only solution would be to research your series.
Knowing the weights, measures, history as well as the minting process of each series.
_________________________
Stan

Top
#1457298 - 11/21/06 02:33 PM Re: Determining if coin is silver or copper-nickel [Re: Stanley]
pendragon1998 Offline
I was posting here when you were in diapers.


Registered: 03/10/06
Posts: 3583
Loc: Mississippi
For those who have good hearing, you can flick a coin with your nail or put it on-edge on a table and then release it and listen to the sound it makes. Silver makes a bell-like ringing tone while clad coins make a less-musical 'clink'. Just for fun, try this with a silver half and a clad half. The same trick works for distinguishing copper cents from zinc ones. Obviously depending on coin quality this may not be the best way to assay it. Weight is generally the best and safest way to go, but you must find a quality scale.
_________________________
-Michael

Interested in buying PCGS MS69 Silver Britannias.
Have one? Please contact me.



Top
#1457299 - 11/21/06 03:11 PM Re: Determining if coin is silver or copper-nickel [Re: pendragon1998]
zoins Offline
Chatzilla


Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 2485
Can you say which coins you have questions about?

Top
#1457300 - 11/30/06 10:10 AM Re: Determining if coin is silver or copper-nickel [Re: zoins]
curtisbalvanz Offline
Just got here


Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 2
Quote:

Can you say which coins you have questions about?




The one that I was referring to is a Sierra Leone 1974 1 Leone.

K&M's SCWC lists both the silver and copper-nickel varieties. They don't list the weight of the copper-nickel coin, so I can't use "weight" to distinguish which one I have.

The silver coin was only minted in Proof quality, the copper-nickel one was not. The one I have could certainly be called Proof but it is not frosted like most other proofs I have are. I also have a few other coins in MS quality that I originally mistook for proof that look as good as this one does, so I can't really use "looks" to distinguish what I have either.

I've seen another one of these Proof coins on eBay that came with a Certificate of Authenticity. I couldn't tell by the seller's photo if they were the same but he did say that his was not frosted either.

I'll try the "ring test" that was suggested earlier to see if I can tell the difference. This doesn't sound very "scientific" but, hey!, if it works, it works! :-)

Regards,
Curtis

Top
#1457301 - 11/30/06 11:29 AM Re: Determining if coin is silver or copper-nickel [Re: curtisbalvanz]
satootoko Offline
Collectosaurus Rex


Registered: 02/21/03
Posts: 389
Loc: Beautiful Orange County, CA, b...
You don't need to know the weight of KM#26, the cu-ni version, as long as you know that KM#26a, the coin silver version, weighs 28.28g.

If your coin matches that weight, within .02g either way, it's silver. If not, it's cu-ni.

(If I have my relative weights straight, the cu-ni will weigh less than the silver, but in any event it will have a significantly different weight.)
_________________________
Feel free to ask ac6h@verizon.net for help in dating or identifying Japanese coins.

Roy

Top
#1457302 - 12/06/06 05:51 PM Re: Determining if coin is silver or copper-nickel [Re: satootoko]
TwoKopeiki Offline
Collectosaurus Rex


Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 515
The best way would be performing Specific Gravity testing on the coin. Silver has a different SG than cu-ni alloy.

It requires a bit of set-up, but once you have it going - it should help you with determining low-contest counterfeits, etc.

~Roman

Top
#1457303 - 12/08/06 06:45 PM Re: Determining if coin is silver or copper-nickel [Re: TwoKopeiki]
Conder101 Offline
Pedigreed


Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 5849
Loc: East central Indiana
Here's a quick down and dirty method. The tissue paper test. Get a known coppernickel coin of roughly the same size and finish (shouldn't matter if it isn't exact) and put a layer of tissue paper over both of them. The coppernickel coin will show through as a dull gray circle. A silver coin will be a white circle. The reason is because silver is the most reflective of all metals reflecting 95% of the light that falls on it. Copper nickel reflects much less. So almost all the light that gets through the tissue refects back off the silver while most of it is absorbed by the coppernickel.
_________________________
------- Slab collector and researcher reported as of 2/5/06 150 companies 331 production varieties

Top
#1457304 - 12/09/06 05:49 AM Re: Determining if coin is silver or copper-nickel [Re: Conder101]
IlikeZARcoins Offline
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 199
Loc: The Emerald Isle
I normally drop the coin on a concrete surface from a height of about 6 feet.

I can then tell the composition of the coin by the 'cling' or the 'clang'.


_________________________
ZAR's Ebay

Top
#1457305 - 12/09/06 06:39 AM Re: Determining if coin is silver or copper-nickel [Re: IlikeZARcoins]
Stanley Offline
Chatzilla


Registered: 06/27/05
Posts: 2351
Loc: Southwest Desert
Quote:

I normally drop the coin on a concrete surface from a height of about 6 feet.

I can then tell the composition of the coin by the 'cling' or the 'clang'.






_________________________
Stan

Top
Page 1 of 2 12>


Moderator:  ngcmod, dena, Jay Turner, CCGmod0, PaulS., Barbara T, Keith Zaner, ccgmod1, jrich, cgcmod8 
Hop to:
Boards Information
Please read the
TERMS OF USE - BOARD GUIDELINES
for the rules of moderation on the boards.



Search
The Money Marketplace
FS: $500 bill nice VF
by agentjim007
Today at 04:40 PM
SOLD
by PrezErrors
Yesterday at 03:40 PM
Rainbow Toned Franklin and Nuclear Toned Lincoln for sale
by PCcoins
Yesterday at 09:23 AM
Huge BLACK FRIDAY Sale starting at 12 am November 28th!
by JackieOF
11/24/14 08:28 PM
Comics Marketplace
HG Tarzan Painted covers
by ft88
25 minutes 9 seconds ago
OA on CLink: Bisley Vampirella Painting+Ms Marvel Splash+J Buscema+JSCampbell
by Dr. Balls
Today at 06:03 PM
'Ya wanted turkeys? I got ya turkeys right here' sale
by Bosco685
Today at 03:11 PM
A few nice ASMs for your Thanksgiving Day pleasure!! Plus a Hulk 181 CGC 8.5!!
by Columbia Comics
Today at 02:35 PM
Advertisements

Generated in 0.329 seconds in which 0.316 seconds were spent on a total of 15 queries. Zlib compression enabled.