What Elements Are Found in the 5 Cent Coin?

Written by becky salmela haase
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What Elements Are Found in the 5 Cent Coin?
Most coins are made from alloys, especially of copper, nickel and steel. (Aaron Graubart/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Since 700BC, coins have been used around the world in exchange for goods and services. Coins of antiquity were made from gold, silver, bronze, copper, nickel or other metals, while modern coins are generally created from alloys of these elements.

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U.S. Nickel

The five-cent coin of the U.S. is made from a cupronickel alloy. This mixture of 75 per cent copper and 25 per cent nickel also contains a trace amount of manganese.

What Elements Are Found in the 5 Cent Coin?
The U.S. Mint has used the same alloy for the nickel since the Civil War. (nickel of the 1980s image by Sean Arenas from Fotolia.com)

Canadian Five-Cent Coin

Over the past century, the Canadian five-cent coin has had several composition changes. With a 92.5 per cent silver and 7.5 per cent copper mix from 1908 to 1919, the Canadian Mint switched between 99.9 per cent nickel and chrome-plated steel throughout the 20th century. Since 2000, a mix of 94.5 per cent steel, 3.5 per cent copper and 2 and per cent nickel plating has been used.

Five-Cent Euro

The Euro became legal tender in the Eurozone participating nations of the European Union on January 1, 2002. The coins are made from copper-covered steel.

What Elements Are Found in the 5 Cent Coin?
Along with the 2- and 1-cent coins, the 5-cent coin image displays Europe in relation to Africa and Asia. (5 cent euro image by Lucky Dragon from Fotolia.com)

Australian Five-Cent Coin

Similar to the US nickel, the Australian five-cent piece is made of 75 per cent copper and 25 per cent nickel. The first production was provided by the Royal Mint of London. Since 1987, the Royal Australian Mint has produced all of Australian's five-cent coins.

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