Earth Sciences and Ecology Question #106

Stef, a 12 year old female from the Internet asks on December 16, 1999,

How are minerals used in the production of Canadian coins?

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The answer

Barry Shell answered on December 16, 1999

There's quite a bit about this at the website of the Royal Canadian Mint http://www.rcmint.ca/en/refinery/. For instance: Royal Canadian Mint Fine Gold and Fine Silver Reference Materials:

  • are designed as a series of calibration standards for solid sampling spectrometry and as quality control standards for precious metal analysis
  • have comprehensive compositions - Fine Gold contains all the 13 trace elements stipulated in the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM) Standard B562-86, as well as platinum, titanium and zinc. Fine Silver contains all the 7 trace elements stipulated in the ASTM Standard B413-89, as well as gold, nickel, platinum, tin and zinc
  • are available in blocks, turnings or wire for fine gold and in blocks or turnings for fine silver
  • are homogeneous
  • are traceable to international weight standards
  • have certificate values with 95% confidence intervals
  • have been analyzed by innovative methods; these methods have been published in leading scientific journals
  • are being used internationally

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