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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 44, October 29, 2006, Article 27

WHY DO COINS SMELL?

An article published online October 25th by the journal Nature
asks: "Why does metal smell? Chemists have found a surprising
answer: it doesn't.

After you've grasped an iron railing, a door handle or a piece
of steel cutlery, your hand often gives off what seems to be a
metallic odour. But Dietmar Glindemann of the University of
Leipzig, Germany, and his co-workers say that you're not smelling
the metal at all.

They have found that the musty odour comes from chemical compounds
in your skin, which are transformed in an instant by the touch of
iron."

"Copper has a similar effect, accounting for the metallic smell
created by handling coins made of copper alloys. "When a shopkeeper
hands you a coin," says Glindemann, "you're smelling his body
odour."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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