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Custom brass coin and lead


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I have been tasked to have 2 custom coins made up for a company, a challenge coin and a smaller version. After working out the design and specs I found a mint that would work within the budget given. Material wise the best options were zinc or brass. After doing some basic research it seemed that brass was a more durable option. Long story short I didn't realize that some brass had lead. The moldings are done, the samples were made and production was in process when I by chance heard about lead being used in brass. As of now I have had production stopped while I figure out what to do next.

Iv been told that the lead content is 0.1%, which is under the California standard of 0.25%. Being that low of a percentage, it's considered lead-free. From what Iv read, "lead-free" depending on the restrictions, can range from under 4% to 8%. It seems California has higher standards then the rest of the country in that regard.

The smaller coin will have a hole in it for being a potential pendant or just coin itself. So the concern is the lead, is 0.1% something to be worried about? Specially if it's going to be touching the skin via a pendant. From research, drinking water brass pipes can have an higher acceptable levels. Production is half way done and switching to zinc would require a new mold to be created as well as basically throwing out the brass ones already done. It was supposed to be a very simple project and now it's become a potential problem. I figured asking people in the coin community would be a good place to start. Thanks for your time.

 

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I am no expert but as California(which has the highest anti-pollution standards) allows 0.25% in water pipes and people actually wash in and ingest the water, I would think it would be okay for 0.1%.

 

Then again I collect the odd cast renaissance medal, and they tend to have a high lead content to assist in the metal flowing in the mold, so you might be wise to just ignore my opinion.

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Then again I collect the odd cast renaissance medal, and they tend to have a high lead content to assist in the metal flowing in the mold, so you might be wise to just ignore my opinion.

 

Do you wear gloves when holding your medals?

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