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Thread: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

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    Default What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    What is the benefit of making only the outer layers of a us coin CuNi and a solid core of Copper, vs having the whole composition CuNi?

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    Thumbs up Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    $ and durability.

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    Sgt. LED nailed it... Money.

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    Money. Pennies aren't made of solid copper anymore because the value of the copper would now be worth more than the penny. Now they're copper plated zinc. The cost of nickel has gone up in value so now nickels are nickel plated copper. I'm not sure about dimes and quarters, but I think they are copper and nickel, but with more nickel than the less valuable coins. When coins become less valuable than the metal they are made of, there is always a chance that people will start melting them down to make money and depleting the number of coins in circulation.

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    The composition of the nickel is the same as it's always been. Proposals are under way to change it to something less costly. IMO, pennies and nickels should no longer be made. They cost more than their face value to make. As a bonus, this would free up two trays in cash registers for higher denomination coins ($1 and $5 perhaps). That in turn could save even more money by getting rid of the $1 and $5 notes, replacing them with coins which last several times longer.

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    The dimes and quarters are also designed such that coin changers will operate the same with the new coins as the old coins (like falling through a magnetic field to detect slugs).

    -Bill

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    Inflation via clipping.
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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    The composition of the nickel is the same as it's always been. Proposals are under way to change it to something less costly. IMO, pennies and nickels should no longer be made. They cost more than their face value to make. As a bonus, this would free up two trays in cash registers for higher denomination coins ($1 and $5 perhaps). That in turn could save even more money by getting rid of the $1 and $5 notes, replacing them with coins which last several times longer.
    We have $1 and $2 coins here and everybody hates them. It's one of those things that's good in theory but blows in practice.

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    Quote Originally Posted by jzmtl View Post
    We have $1 and $2 coins here and everybody hates them. It's one of those things that's good in theory but blows in practice.
    I imagine a $2 coin is about as useful as a $2 bill, which is not very. But $1 and $5 coins might work here. Do they still make paper currency in $1 and $2 denominations? If so, that might be one reason everyone hates the coins. They don't circulate, and nobody has a chance to get used to using them. Regardless of whether we make higher denomination coins, it's long past time to get rid of the cent and nickel. At this point they're just a burden.

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    No paper $1 and $2 anymore. The point is not what the denomination they come in ($2 coin do get a lot of use), but rather they are a pain in the butt to carry while paper money can be stored easily in wallet, especially for people who don't carry purse/murse with them (which is every guy I know). A friend always dump coins in a 5 gallon bucket and he almost filled the bucket in two years.

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    I think the trick is just not accumulating a lot of $1 or $2 coins by using them to pay for smaller purchases rather than breaking bills. I do this all the time to avoid accumulating too many dollar bills. I can see how $1 coins are a burden if you have 20 of them in your pocket though.

    Pennies here tend to end up getting dumped in buckets as they're a nuisance to carry given what they buy. I know some people who have 55 gallon drums filled with pennies in their basement.

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    When it's only pennies and quarters breaking a dollar bill won't result in many coins, but when you need to break a $20 bill and end up with a lot of penny, dime, quarter AND dollar coins even one transaction will give me more coins than I'd want to carry (which is ideally zero).

    I use CC as much as possible to avoid coin in my pocket but there are times it's not possible, so I always ended up with piles of them on my dresser.

    Oh yeah, when OP said bi-metal coin, I tought he was talking about this type:


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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    The difference between liking a denomination and not liking it lies in its usefulness. The Japanese didn't like their $1 and $5 (okay 100円 and 500円) coins until the machines all started accepting them. I all machines that accept money are altered to accept the higher denomination coins everyone will accept them.

    No more standing there trying to get the machine to accept the wrinkled damp bills from your wallet. Just drop in the coins , hit your choice and go!
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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    The composition of the nickel is the same as it's always been. Proposals are under way to change it to something less costly. IMO, pennies and nickels should no longer be made. They cost more than their face value to make. As a bonus, this would free up two trays in cash registers for higher denomination coins ($1 and $5 perhaps). That in turn could save even more money by getting rid of the $1 and $5 notes, replacing them with coins which last several times longer.
    Agreed with eliminating the $0.01 and $0.05 as they are worth so little. Several other countries in the world (eg Australia and NZ), and round cash transactions off to the nearest $0.10, and actually circulate enough $1 denomination coins that they are relevant.

    As it is, many businesses already round to the nearest $0.05. The cashiers will either give round up to the next nickel, or ask the customer if they want the penny and round down if they say no...

    In the USA we could move Lincoln's head from the penny on the brass $1 coins currently dispensed as change from many vending machines. The lame thing about this is that most machines that give the US $1 coins as change don't actually accept the coins. You have make purchases in nickels, dimes, quarters and $1/$5 bills. Dollar coins are given as change, as the machine has no mechanism to give bills as change, and they don't want to waste 16+ quarters on people trying to break a $5...

    Eliminating the penny and nickel penny however would "Free up" change drawers in existing cash registers etc for dollar coins. Circulation should then be ramped up to the point that the coins are actually used. Not sure about $5 coins, I woudnl't mind it, but as it is just about any purchase above $5 is handled by CC these days, so there woudln't be a lot of incentive to retool machines to accept them.

    No more standing there trying to get the machine to accept the wrinkled damp bills from your wallet. Just drop in the coins , hit your choice and go!
    I recall last time I went to a theme park the vending machines were so expensive they didn't even try to accept change, you had to feed them bills or swipe your credit card...
    Last edited by 2xTrinity; 01-08-2009 at 04:39 PM.

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    I imagine a $2 coin is about as useful as a $2 bill, which is not very. But $1 and $5 coins might work here. Do they still make paper currency in $1 and $2 denominations? If so, that might be one reason everyone hates the coins. They don't circulate, and nobody has a chance to get used to using them. Regardless of whether we make higher denomination coins, it's long past time to get rid of the cent and nickel. At this point they're just a burden.
    We've had $1 coins for over 200 years, and it's never achieved more than novelty status. Since the newer incarnation is barely able to be casually distinguishable from a quarter, I wouldn't expect anything more than a novelty status from it either.

    There's no need to get rid of the penny or the nickel either. If one had to go, it would be better that the nickel went. I could make up the lack of a nickel with five pennies.

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Empath View Post
    We've had $1 coins for over 200 years, and it's never achieved more than novelty status. Since the newer incarnation is barely able to be casually distinguishable from a quarter, I wouldn't expect anything more than a novelty status from it either.
    A smooth-edged brass coin with is difficult to distinguish from a thinner ridged-edge, nickel-plated copper coin?

    I agree the Susan B Anthony dollar was a very bad design. When it was introduced weople would get short-changed $0.75 as a result of the confusion. I actually like new brass coin much better. That said, IMO if they were going to promote it as anything more than a novelty, they should have stuck with the tradition of Presidents, or at least people involved in American Politics on the coin. (I'm aware that the dollar coin IS being produced with the heads of the different presidents on it, but only as a collectible, not for general circulation...)

    There's no need to get rid of the penny or the nickel either. If one had to go, it would be better that the nickel went. I could make up the lack of a nickel with five pennies.
    The penny absolutely should be eliminated. Vending machines don't take them. Many cashiers simpyl round up to the nearest nickel when giving change as well, or ask their customers if they want the penny as change -- for many, the nuisance of carrying the coin is not worth $0.01 ...

    Nickel actually should stay now that I think of if. The countries that round to $0.10 have $0.20 coins, not $0.25 coins. As it is, two dimes and a nickel can be combined to make $0.25. There would also be no way to make $0.30 by using a quarter and a nickel.
    Last edited by 2xTrinity; 01-08-2009 at 04:52 PM.

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2xTrinity View Post
    I agree the Susan B Anthony dollar was a very bad design. When it was introduced weople would get short-changed $0.75 as a result of the confusion. I actually like new brass coin much better. That said, IMO if they were going to promote it as anything more than a novelty, they should have stuck with the tradition of Presidents, or at least people involved in American Politics on the coin. (I'm aware that the dollar coin IS being produced with the heads of the different presidents on it, but only as a collectible, not for general circulation...)
    I liked the dollar coin from the start, but just can't understand why they made a coin that for the most part, both looked and felt like a quarter!?! When the first Washington coin hit my hands I thought they'd finally done it, but with no move to implement making them user friendly, it was pretty much impossible to break the paper money habit.

    I've lived in both Canada and Japan several times and have no problem getting used to using a coin in lieu of a one, a two or a fiver and think that with the slightest push to add vending machines/parking meters that would accept the dollar coin, most people would virtually forget we even had a paper dollar in a very short time.
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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Empath View Post
    We've had $1 coins for over 200 years, and it's never achieved more than novelty status.
    What needs to happen for adoption is the government needs to issue $1 and $5 coins AND simutaneously begin to eliminate the paper versions. In Japan, there are 100 and 500yen coins. I much prefer using those over the paper bills.

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    I dunno about scrapping the penny. I buy smaller stuff mostly with cash and knowing how some places think they would try and mark stuff up an extra penny to get 4 free ones by making something cost 81 cents instead of 80..... where would they have to give you a nickel back instead of nothing? on 2 cents over? 3 cents? 4 cents or never?
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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    The conversion from the various European currencies to the Euro has some interesting lessons. I had the pleasure of bring in Germany for the event. (BTW, the Germans handled it remarkably well)

    Now keep in mind, before this transition, every country had its own currency. There actually were some benefits to this, and the currencies contained some rich history that is really lost, but visiting multiple countries was kind of a pain.

    If you think we have too many coins, let's look at the Euro currency (which was quite well thought out actually)
    The Euro coin list

    1 C
    2 C
    5 C
    10 C
    20 C
    50 C
    1 Euro
    2 Euro

    It makes perfect sense to a mathematician, and is a major PITA to use. There was a major problem hauling around all of the weight of the coins to be distributed and warehousing them, so they had to use special heavy duty trucks.

    The mass of coins to do a simple transaction and deal with change is so large that it almost forces one to use a bag / man purse. (no, I don't do that, but now I understand why it is done)

    So what did people do - they now use debit cards to buy everything possible and stopped using coinse because the monetary system is great for international exchange, but very difficult for everyday life. Now of course they use coins, but nothing like before. Prior to the Euro conversion, hardly anyone used the debit / smart cards, the Euro coin problem sort of forced it.

    JTR - your point about cost of printing the US $ 1 and $ 5 are good points, but spend a month in Europe, and you will really appreciate paper bills a lot more. I am all for stopping production of pennies and maybe go to just a 5 C and 25 C coins.

    Unlike the Europeans, Americans really view coins as "children's money" - with relatively little value. Perhaps the primary value of the penny and dime are to teach children to count. Is that enough - maybe not.
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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    I use a debit card almost exclusively too. I have a President's Choice card (backed up by the CIBC Bank) and there is no per-transaction charge. I rarely use coins except for a coin laundry which takes loonies ($1 Cdn).
    Last edited by PhotonBoy; 01-09-2009 at 03:37 AM. Reason: typo

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    I dunno about scrapping the penny. I buy smaller stuff mostly with cash and knowing how some places think they would try and mark stuff up an extra penny to get 4 free ones by making something cost 81 cents instead of 80..... where would they have to give you a nickel back instead of nothing? on 2 cents over? 3 cents? 4 cents or never?
    Some friends of mine who live in New Zealand, where they round to $0.10 (similar value to US$0.05), explained the process.

    First, ALL the items purchased in an entire transaction are summed, then only the final total is rounded to the nearest $0.10 (eg, if the total is $10.75, price would be $10.80, if it's $10.74, then you'd pay $10.70). But again, the rounding is done for an entire transaction, so there's no way a store could mark up their prices $0.01 and expect to gain anything -- people will tend to buy different numbers of items, so a roughly equal number of people would "win" an extra $0.02, as would lose an extra $0.02 and it would all even out in the end.
    Last edited by 2xTrinity; 01-09-2009 at 04:05 AM.

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    I haven't carried change in my pocket for a year now. Don't really see much point in cash unless you can't get a bank account. I can't even remember the last time I bought anything that totalled less than one pound.

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    Quote Originally Posted by jzmtl View Post
    No paper $1 and $2 anymore. The point is not what the denomination they come in ($2 coin do get a lot of use), but rather they are a pain in the butt to carry while paper money can be stored easily in wallet, especially for people who don't carry purse/murse with them (which is every guy I know). A friend always dump coins in a 5 gallon bucket and he almost filled the bucket in two years.
    That's right, you guys in Canada have the Looney and the Tooney (I'm not sure how these are spelled). I think someone was watching cartoons when they came up with the names for those coins. I agree that it is more of a pain to carry more coins in a wallet instead of paper currency. It's even a bigger pain for those of us who go to a store in your country using American money. On one trip, I went into a Walmart thinking that when I purchased something, I would get my change back in Canadian currency at the exchange rate listed in the store. They give small change back ignoring the exchange rate. This wouldn't be so bad if they didn't have one and two dollar coins. Anything under $5 was given back in change and at the time of my visit, the dollar was worth twice as much as the Canadian dollar. This means if I used a $5 U.S. bill to buy a one dollar candy bar, I would get 2 $2 Canadian coins worth a total of $2 American. I would get ripped off $2 on a $1 purchase.

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Empath View Post
    We've had $1 coins for over 200 years, and it's never achieved more than novelty status.
    According to my granddad, the dollar coins were much preferred over the paper money. It's only in recent times ( last 50 years) that a dollar coin is worth so little that it is a pain to carry.

    In Grandad's day, getting $10 a week in silver dollars was just fine. That would have been 1925. He still distrusted 'worthless paper" when last I saw him 35 years ago.


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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    Quote Originally Posted by gadget_lover View Post
    According to my granddad, the dollar coins were much preferred over the paper money. It's only in recent times ( last 50 years) that a dollar coin is worth so little that it is a pain to carry.

    In Grandad's day, getting $10 a week in silver dollars was just fine. That would have been 1925. He still distrusted 'worthless paper" when last I saw him 35 years ago.
    Speaking of which, it would be great if we made higher-valued coins in precious metals again, even though I know it won't happen. In your grandad's day, you had denominations as high as the $20 gold (although nowadays such a coin would need to have a face value of at least $1000 just to be worth more than metal content). It might be nice to have silver $20 coins perhaps roughly the size of an old silver dollar though. If nothing else, money based on precious metals would keep the money supply in check. Nowadays we're printing increasingly worthless dollars at a breakneck pace.

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Empath View Post

    There's no need to get rid of the penny or the nickel either. If one had to go, it would be better that the nickel went. I could make up the lack of a nickel with five pennies.
    You would rather carry 5 pennies than a nickle? Confusing.

    I gave the girl at Steak and Shake a couple of brass one dollar coins last summer for a milk shake. She proceeded to tell me she couldn't take those. I started laughing and asked why. She said she could only take real money. I said please go ask your shift supervisor if you can accept those. She came back and said these are fine.

    Kinda of a funny and sad story all at the same time.

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    I think the trick is just not accumulating a lot of $1 or $2 coins by using them to pay for smaller purchases rather than breaking bills. I do this all the time to avoid accumulating too many dollar bills. I can see how $1 coins are a burden if you have 20 of them in your pocket though.

    Pennies here tend to end up getting dumped in buckets as they're a nuisance to carry given what they buy. I know some people who have 55 gallon drums filled with pennies in their basement.
    The same as $20 dollar bills would be. Dollar bills are totally pointless, you get a massive wallet of them thick enough to choke a horse, when coins would be so much easier to deal with. What costs a dollar anymore, anyway?

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hitthespot View Post
    I gave the girl at Steak and Shake a couple of brass one dollar coins last summer for a milk shake.
    That's the only reason I've ever carried/used $1 coins, as a unique way to leave a tip. Back when they first came out, I had a $25 roll of Sacajawea dollars that I kept in my car just for such occasions.

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    Default Re: What is the point of bi-metal coin compostion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    The same as $20 dollar bills would be. Dollar bills are totally pointless, you get a massive wallet of them thick enough to choke a horse, when coins would be so much easier to deal with. What costs a dollar anymore, anyway?
    Um, a lot of stuff, everything at dollar store, and things that cost $11, $21, $31 etc.

    Not sure why do you think coin are easier to deal with, consider you complain about dollar bill taking up space yet dollar coins have higher volume and weight.

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