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Hello, and thank you for enrolment in the group.

I have been trying to find out the composition of the late silver coins. I can only find 50% silver. My question is , what is the other 50% ? Many thanks for reading this.

sid.

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Depends on the dates and denominations. For example, for the George V shilling, you have the following mixes:

1920-22        Silver 50%, Copper 40% and Nickel 10% (Some 1921 shillings contain a small amount of Manganese)
1922-27        Silver 50% and Copper 50%
1927-36        Silver 50%, Copper 40%, Nickel 5% and Zinc 5%

 

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Hi Dave,

    Many thanks for your reply. Most informative, just what I was looking for.

Best regards,

Sid.

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Davies (British Silver Coins since 1816) has a discussion on alloys. 10% Nickel and 40% copper was achieved by using discarded bullet envelopes. But this caused a number of problems such as higher fuel cost (due to higher melting point), discolouration, flaking etc

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Hello Sword,

tThank you for your reply and info. Interesting never knew they used old shell cases. We live and learn.

Regards,

Sid.

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Posted (edited)

I had heard that as well - about the shell casings - but then recall that the research did not yield the WW I casings to be of that alloy (??), and that it was speculative. The British Museum have an interesting collection of different alloy strikes from the time that are designated for anyone interested.

 

I have seen various reports that others may confirm or debunk and one alloy was cited as copper 60% and nickel 40%...

Edited by VickySilver
clarity

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1 hour ago, VickySilver said:

I had heard that as well - about the shell casings - but then recall that the research did not yield the WW I casings to be of that alloy (??), and that it was speculative. The British Museum have an interesting collection of different alloy strikes from the time that are designated for anyone interested.

I have seen various reports that others may confirm or debunk and one alloy was cited as copper 60% and nickel 40%...

I have never looked into this in detail but it is likely enough that different alloys were used for casings. Cupronickel coinage of 75% Cu and 25% Ni is already white in appearance. Hence 40% nickel would definitely not result in a copper colour shell which are common in WWI. Could it be possible that a certain amount of copper was mixed with the silver depending on the composition of the casings used to ensure some sort of consistency? 

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It gets more and more absorbing.

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On 6/28/2022 at 2:39 PM, VickySilver said:

I had heard that as well - about the shell casings - but then recall that the research did not yield the WW I casings to be of that alloy (??), and that it was speculative. The British Museum have an interesting collection of different alloy strikes from the time that are designated for anyone interested.

Are they photographed on their website?

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On 6/28/2022 at 5:39 AM, VickySilver said:

I had heard that as well - about the shell casings - but then recall that the research did not yield the WW I casings to be of that alloy (??), and that it was speculative. The British Museum have an interesting collection of different alloy strikes from the time that are designated for anyone interested.

 

I have seen various reports that others may confirm or debunk and one alloy was cited as copper 60% and nickel 40%...

I too have read the same thing and that it primarily affected silver dated 1920 - so just one year. The first year when the silver composition fell to 50%.

Although there appears to be no confirmation - purely speculative as you say.

 

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I don't really know about the BM and possible internet accessibility. That collection is absolutely incomprehensible...

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9 hours ago, VickySilver said:

I don't really know about the BM and possible internet accessibility. That collection is absolutely incomprehensible...

Yes I just had a play with the search - it didn't return anything obvious. Lots of British West African pieces are photographed but not British pieces.

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It gets more and more absorbing. Strange no British coins.

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