Bi-metallic coin

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Bi-metallic coins are made up of a core with an outer ring. (e.g.: 500 yen coin)

Bi-metallic coins are coins consisting of two (bi-) metals or alloys, generally arranged with an outer ring around a contrasting center.[1] Common circulating examples include the €1, €2, United Kingdom £1 and £2, Canadian $2, South Africa R5, Turkish 1 lira and 50 kurus, Indian ₹10 and ₹20, Indonesian Rp1,000, Polish 2 and 5 zł, Czech 50 Kč, Hungarian 100 and 200 Ft, Bulgarian 1 and 2 lv., Hong Kong $10, Argentine $1 and $2, Brazilian R$1, Chilean $100 and $500, Colombian $500 and $1000, Peruvian S/2 and S/5, Albanian 100 Lekë, and all Mexican coins of $1 or higher denomination.


Bi-metallic coins and medals have been issued for a long time. The Roman Empire issued special-occasion, large medallions with a center of bronze or copper and an outer ring of orichalcum, starting with the reign of Hadrian. Meanwhile, circulating bi-metallic coins are known from the 17th century.[2][3] English farthings from 1684 through 1693 were made of tin with a central plug of copper for value. The silver-center cent pattern produced by the United States in 1792 is another example.[2]

In the 1830s and 1840s, British medalist Joseph Moore produced large numbers of bi-metallic "penny model" and less common "halfpenny model" tokens, as a proposal to replace the relatively large penny and halfpenny coins.[4][5] Though not legal tender, Moore's tokens were circulated widely and accepted at face value by many merchants. Despite their popularity, the Royal Mint rejected the proposal, and did not reduce the size of the penny and halfpenny until decimalization.[6]

The first modern circulating bi-metallic coin was the Italian 500 lire, first issued in 1982.[7] Based on the minting process of the lire coin, the following issued bi-metallic coins for circulation were issued:[citation needed]

The first ever tri-metallic circulating coins were 20-francs coins introduced in France and Monaco in 1992. These were similar to the corresponding bi-metallic 10-francs coins, but had two rings instead of one.


As well as circulating coins, where they are generally restricted to high-denomination coins, bi-metallic coins are often used in commemorative issues, often made of precious metals. For example, the only bi-metallic coin issued by the United States is the $10 Library of Congress commemorative, made of a gold ring around a platinum center. They are used primarily as a way of securing against coin counterfeiting.[12]


A Brazilian R$1 coin with its parts separated

The manufacturing process is similar to that of ordinary coins, except that two blanks (the inner and the outer) are struck at the same time, deforming the separate blanks sufficiently to hold them together.[13]


Countries with bimetallic coins in circulation. Gold denotes more than one bimetallic coin in use. Red denotes one bimetallic coin in use. Blue denotes that non-bimetallic coin of the same value circulates alongside the bimetallic coin.



  1. ^ "bimetallic | Definition of bimetallic in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Archived from the original on September 26, 2016. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  2. ^ a b "History of Bimetallic Coins". Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  3. ^ "Bi Metal Coins From ancient Rome Till present Day". Coins Auctioned. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  4. ^ "Joseph Moore, Medal Designer (1817-?)". Museums Victoria Collections. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  5. ^ "BBC - A History of the World - Object : Victorian One Penny Model Coin". Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  6. ^ "Message - UK Finds Database -". Retrieved 2019-04-15.
  7. ^ Standard catalog of world coins. 1993-12-01.
  8. ^ "ECB: Introduction". ECB. ECB. 12 November 2020.
  9. ^ "A Brief History: Looking into the World of Bi-Metal Two Pound Coins | British Pobjoy Mint". Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  10. ^ "Circulation Currency > Coins". Archived from the original on 2019-04-11. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  11. ^ "Banco Central presenta nueva moneda de ¢500 para conmemorar el Bicentenario de Costa Rica".
  12. ^ "Bimetallism". Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  13. ^ Leitão, P.J.; Teixeira, A.C.; Rodrigues, J.M.C.; Martins, P.A.F. (October 1997). "Development of an industrial process for minting a new type of bimetallic coin". Journal of Materials Processing Technology. 70 (1–3): 178–184. doi:10.1016/S0924-0136(97)02914-2.

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