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Sounds of coins when you "bang" them!


gxseries
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*cough* I know "banging" coins is a "taboo" subject, but please do allow me to proceed a few lines before you bring me to the coin god for justice ;)

 

Now before you do this experiment, I beg you to check out that the values of the coins that you are going to test are not of high value - I most certainly am not responsible for what you are going to do!!!

 

Now back to the story:

 

Coins are generally made of metal and so when you click two such coins together, they make noises and rather fairly distinctive. Appearently the best comparision is two silver coins juggled together against two ni-cupro coins or two alunimum coins, etc. You can add in more coins if you wish. Of course, they do sound different with the silver coins give some sharp and clear distinctive noise whereas ni-cupro gives you somewhat loud yet "crude" noise. Alunimum seems to give some crude but flat noise. I'm sure someone can give a better description...

 

All these noises do depend on how you knock the two coins, ie edge against a surface, or just general juggling.

 

The oddest that I have is when you have two really small Aussie 2 dollars coins, and when they get juggled, they seem to give some beads noise.

 

 

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Now the reason why I thought of this... well it's off topic: Some musician friend of mine actually dared to challenge me of how much change I had. The deal was that if he was right within the nearest dollar, he would get all the change I had that day. Of course he didn't get to see me taking out the changes, etc and he faced behind his back. All I did was to drop the coins on a hard concrete floor and he guessed it right! :ninja: I think he was off by 20 cents or so if I am not wrong... Oh well... that was some 7 dollars worth of change... (and I am sure there were quite a fair bit of coins there, like at least 15...) so I thought it might be possible to determine such by the sound alone... (ahem, never do such bets with a musician... ;) )

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*cough* I know "banging" coins is a "taboo" subject, but please do allow me to proceed a few lines before you bring me to the coin god for justice ;)

 

 

:ninja:

 

Too much information.

 

 

 

Yes metals do sound different when dropped. If you drop the following you will note;

 

Nickel = more of a clunk with a dull ring.

Zinc = the anticlimax of all anti-climaxes, 'thud' would explain it.

Silver = High pitched ring (like only silver can do)

Gold = Lower pitched than silver but much more sharper and louder, and from experiments conducted it lasts longer.

 

Tin - well i forget exactly but it's dull.

 

Aluminium likewise is dull.

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And by colour i should think?

 

Color's very hard to do on them since most were pulled before being worn past EF.

 

BTW, were British .500 silver coins plated with a layer of higher fineness? I notice especially on 1920s shillings that they seem to be plated, with the plating wearing off.

 

Canadian .500 silver is generally lighter in color than British .500 silver coins. Probably has to do with alloying.

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Color's very hard to do on them since most were pulled before being worn past EF.

 

BTW, were British .500 silver coins plated with a layer of higher fineness? I notice especially on 1920s shillings that they seem to be plated, with the plating wearing off.

 

Canadian .500 silver is generally lighter in color than British .500 silver coins. Probably has to do with alloying.

 

 

Not that i'm aware of, it could be one of two things.

 

Silver is more malleable than nickel and when being struck it's possible that the silver was drawn to the surface. Why should this differ to Canada though? Different striking pressures being used perhaps?

 

Secondly however, are these dated 1920-22? During that time the alloy was different. From 1922 though due to coins devoloping nasty yellow streaks (and perhaps due to hardness issues too) the alloy was altered to 50/50 silver/copper. Before this it had been 50 silver, 40 copper and 10 per cent nickel.

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Color isn't really a "valid" option, since you can have a large variety of alloys, from silver alloys from pure silver to 50% with a large variety of other metals... Even with gold, you can have three main color, which is blasting white gold, reddish gold, and greenish gold or white gold if you wish...

 

 

You so sure about that?

 

Consider this.

 

Two British sixpences, both dated 1920, both VF. One is .925 Ag the other .500 Ag. I dare say you can tell by the colour which is which. One will be whiter than the other.

 

Does it matter you say? Well frankly yes. If i was doing a date set of them i'd want both varieties. Now when you get EFs and UNCs that's when it gets more difficult. Now dropping a UNC/BU coin is not generally going to be the first thing you're wanting to do with it. So you'll have to study the strike and in to a lesser extent in such lofty grades the colour.

 

Nickel/Copper/Silver alloy is harder than, Silver/Copper alloy. So generally speaking the .925 should show a stronger and crisper strike. Unless of course the die was mid-life or beyond or other striking issues come into play and then it's even more iffy.

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Well, I frankly disagree with the whole color idea. While you can use it to differentiate the differences, I personally think that weighting them would be a better test, unless you are in a flea market and that is not an option.

 

The more difficult options are odd metal alloys and even metal plating which makes matters a lot more difficult. With silver and gold plating technology raising at very high levels, this could quite tricky. Not only that, when you get coins cleaned with very strong solvent, would such color option be available? Even with toned coins, it makes things so difficult to figure out what the original alloy could be.

 

Of course, going back to the story of the sound of coins, all coins sound different not only by their alloys and mas but also the shape of the coins...

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I guess there is a need to send them to a mass spectrometer... :ninja:

 

There were indeed coins that had to be sent to mass spectrometers to determine the coins' authenticity... the best examples were the Russian platinum rubles and there were some horror studies behind them. ;)

 

 

Wouldn't that require taking a sample off of the coin though? Anyhow I wouldn't fancy having them vapourised, even if it's just a sample! ;)

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I notice some quarters make more of a "ping" sound when dropped. Same types of metal but different sound. Maybe the composition was slightly different in that batch of quarters? I'm not sure.

 

Although I did show my sister the difference between silver and copper-nickel quarters. She can never remember the cut-off date for silver quarters but drops them to compare the sound. I get a lot of silver during the summer time (she works at a dairy queen type shop). ;)

 

This Thanksgiving some coins will be making a rather loud "BANG!" :ninja:

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Not that i'm aware of, it could be one of two things.

 

Silver is more malleable than nickel and when being struck it's possible that the silver was drawn to the surface. Why should this differ to Canada though? Different striking pressures being used perhaps?

 

Secondly however, are these dated 1920-22? During that time the alloy was different. From 1922 though due to coins devoloping nasty yellow streaks (and perhaps due to hardness issues too) the alloy was altered to 50/50 silver/copper. Before this it had been 50 silver, 40 copper and 10 per cent nickel.

 

Generally throughout the mid 20s. I remember seeing some 25s and I believe 26s as well like as I describe. Canadian .500 gets duller, but definately does not seem to have a layer of silver at the top.

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Though going by what you said, I then wonder if the British .500 coins were treated to bring the silver to the top (like with the Roman antoniani that when UNC could still look like decent silver coins even if it was only .100 billon). I notice the same on some German states billon coins.

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It could well be ccq.

 

The War had driven up silver prices to such an extent that the silver fineness had to be reduced.

 

The last thing they needed to happen was for everyone to hoard the .925 silver coins and create more problems. Perhaps they treat them to make people think the 1920-6 run was sterling also?

 

The mint did used to artificially darken farthings to prevent them being confused with half sovereigns. So maybe they meddled with the .500 silver also (until the design change in 1927?)

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I'll keep an eye out in the future. The early 20s silver I definately notice it, but I have a '28 half-crown that's normal looking.

 

The Mexican .100 silver pesos of the '50s-60s are also the same- you can see billon under a layer of higher grade silver that's usually worn off the high spots by the time it's a mid-EF. (It actually really helps with grading those)

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< They weigh the same >

 

No they don't.  The .500 fine 1920 sixpence should weigh .18 grams less than the .925 fine 1920 sixpence.

POST #100!

 

 

Not according to Coincraft, they state 2.8g for both types. I presume you have brought specific gravity into the equation? I would have thought they'd be a difference myself.

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I have a Bust Half that is extremely worn and bit corroded and doesn't sing like silver at all. I have never been able to 100% convince myself it is genuine. The best verbal opinion that ANACS could give at a show a few years back was that it was probably authentic. It could just be a bad alloy or blank or something.

 

I also have an 1870 Canadian half that does not sing one little bit either but it has other issues that make me fairly confident it is a fake.

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