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Non-magnetic nickel in 2012 25 cent proofs?

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Hey Canadian coin people,

I was just looking at my 2012 base metal 2012 Canada proof set. As you may know, the quarter in this set is supposed to be composed of nickel (as are the 5, 10, and 50 cent coins). They are all appropriately magnetic except for the 25 cent piece. Does anybody know why this might be? At the very least, can any of you confirm this observation?

Thanks in advance,

Bruce

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Try to get it XRF scanned. Regardless of steel or nickel, it should be magnetic.

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If I had an easy means of getting it XRF scanned, I probably would. Another collector reported having a magnetic quarter in one of the other 40,000 sets of this type. This only enhances my curiosity. I suspect that I will never know for sure why it is different. I'm not even sure why I happened to check it in the first place! :-)

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In fact I did reach out to a geoscientist. He said that if it is in a 1/16” or 1/32” solid plastic “window," then it is virtually impossible to get X-rays in and/or X-rays out. Also, "Assuming it is “plastic” and of some thickness more than a few microns or tens of microns, I doubt that any ‘normal’ XRF device could be used to determine the elemental composition."

 

I guess the specific answer as to why a magnet doesn't attract it will remain a mystery....

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Well, I had it tested with an electron microscope today. The conclusion--an approximately 75/25 copper/nickel alloy. I have no idea where it may have come from, but it clearly was not the composition that it should have been. I guess a 75/25 C-N alloy isn't magnetic? Well, hopefully somebody will consider this "error" to be valuable. icon_wink.gif

 

56 percent nickel is required before the alloy shows ferro-magnetic properties at ordinary temperature. Thus, all makes much more sense, now (other than the origin of this non-standard proof planchet).

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Yes. The mint designated planchets for the proof set quarters were either composed of nickel or silver. The nickel ones are easy to identify as such with a magnet. I had another person who has one of these sets check his quarter with a magnet. It was nickel (as it was supposed to). Thus, if this is a rare planchet error coin, it is probably going to be worth at least $100 to somebody (or possibly more if it turns out to be possibly unique). I'm glad that I noticed that it wasn't magnetic!

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No, but I wouldn't really expect it to. A polished, proof nickel coin should probably look about the same as a polished, proof copper-nickel coin. The obvious difference is laid bare by the magnet. I knew that it couldn't be nickel. The test provided an answer that is consistent and plausible. I wish that I knew how rare this coin is (and which people would love to have it).

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