Minerals, Metals, and Other Materials


What is the composition of U.S. coins currently in circulation?

During colonial times, coins were composed of gold, silver and copper. The U.S. Mint produced gold coins until 1933, during the Great Depression. The silver in quarters and dimes was replaced in 1966. Today, nickels, dimes, quarters, and half-dollars are composed of copper and nickel. They have a copper core and an outer layer composed of a 75 percent copper, 25 percent nickel alloy. Pennies, once copper coins, are now composed of copper-plated zinc.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Science Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App