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NEW METALS FOR COINS AND MEDALS MANUFACTURED IN SPACE?
Dick Johnson submitted the following speculations on possible new alloys for coins and medals.With a successful landing on Mars last week my amazement at American technology for space achievements is unbounded. I thrill to see a space rocket blast off. The thought of man working in space is mind boggling to me. Some of the suggested benefits of all this space activity are possible new products, one of which could be the combination of new alloys which cannot be formulated on earth with gravity restrictions.
For example, heavy-weight gold and light-weight aluminum, can NOT be alloyed on earth (such metals are called noncompatible alloys by metallurgists). If this could be accomplished in space it would result in a new metal with who-knows-what characteristics. Perhaps such an alloy would be high value, gold color, low weight. That might be an ideal coinage metal! It would certainly be an excellent composition for a space medal. Imagine what could be designed for such an exciting issue. Despite the popularity of the term "nickel-silver" there is no silver in nickel-silver as nickel-silver is actually an alloy of nickel, copper and zinc. Nickel and silver are noncompatible metals, they cannot be alloyed together.
The combination of two traditional coinage metals into one new composition is guaranteed to be a winner for a new coin alloy. It might also have some features we cannot even dream of here on earth. Strike that alloy in a new $10 coin. Once enough of the space-made alloy could be brought back to earth we could strike these into coins. Until then the first shipment of that rare alloy should be made into a special medal honoring American technology in space. That's an achievement! Please line up behind me. I want to be the first buyer of that medal, no matter what the price.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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