Rare American Coins and Aluminum As a Precious Metal

The history of aluminum goes back to 1761 when it was first called alumina.

Until 1884, aluminum products were extremely rare. In fact, most people considered aluminum a “precious metal” and it was more expensive than silver, gold, platinum, or any other precious metal used today.

In the mid 1800’s, aluminum was considered more precious than gold, silver or platinum.

For a while, aluminum bars were exhibited alongside the French crown jewels at the Exposition Universelle in1855. Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have used aluminum plates for his most honored guests at dinner.

Scientists suspected that an unknown metal existed in alumina as early as 1787, but they did not have a way to extract it until 1825. Hans Christian Oersted, a Danish chemist, was the first to produce tiny amounts of aluminum.

Two years later, Friedrich Wöhler, a German chemist, developed a different way to obtain the metal. By 1845, he was able to produce samples large enough to determine some of aluminum’s basic properties. Wöhler’s method was improved in 1854 by Henri Étienne Sainte-Claire Deville, a French chemist.

Deville’s process allowed for the commercial production of aluminum. As a result, the price of the metal dropped from around $1200 per kilogram in 1852 to around $40 per kilogram in 1859. However, the metal still remained too expensive to be widely used.

In 1884, only 125 pounds of aluminum were produced in the U.S. Aluminum is a very common metal, making up some 8% of the Earth’s crust. It reacts readily with oxygen, and is almost never found in nature in its pure state.

In 1886, a Frenchman Paul Heroult and American Charles Martin Hall, working independently, figured out a way to extract aluminum from aluminum oxide.

Then on April 2, 1889, Charles Martin Hall patented an inexpensive method for the production of aluminum, which brought the metal into wide commercial use. His method of processing the metal ore was to pass an electric current through a non-metallic conductor to separate the very conductive aluminum.

In 1888, together with financier Alfred E. Hunt, Charles Martin Hall founded the company now known as the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA). Because the separation of aluminum from its ore is so electrically intensive, the commercial production of aluminum wasn’t practical until the production of cheap electricity also became practical.

By 1891, more than 300 tons of aluminum was produced in the U.S. and it was used to make all kinds of products. At the start of the 1900s, the output of aluminum increased to about 8,000 tons.

By 1914, Charles Martin Hall had brought the cost of aluminum down to 18 cents a pound, and it was no longer considered a precious metal. By 1999, 31 million tons of aluminum was being produced worldwide.

Given the history of aluminum, could gold and silver ever become nonprecious metals? Even if someone discovered cheaper ways to process silver and gold, neither could be considered common elements, the way aluminum is.

No rare American coins have been minted in aluminum the way they have in gold and silver. Even in the day when aluminum was considered precious, the US Mint never used it for coinage

Current annual world silver production is 787,000,000 OUNCES, not tons.

World gold production is around 80,000,000 OUNCES a year.

Both American gold coins and American silver coins have compelling reasons to buy them. I buy both. I DON’T have any interest in aluminum coins though.

Versatile Features of Aluminum Tubing

The rising cost in construction and manufacturing has led to more individuals to seek out cost effect construction and manufacturing materials to produce their products with. One metal found in abundance all over the earth is aluminum. Aluminum fits the bill when it comes to being cost effective and applicable in many different ways.

The properties of aluminum make it the perfect metal for aluminum tubing that is used in many different forms in construction and manufacturing. Aluminum is strong, malleable, light weight and conducts both heat and electricity very well.

Aluminum tubing can be formed and designed per specification for construction or manufacturing purposes. This has made aluminum one of the preferred metals for designers. With no limitation in the creativity of a designer, they are able to design and create in any manner they desire, instead of creating designs based on what materials are available.

Aluminum tubing production that is cost effective

Aluminum tubing is created using an extrusion process that is cost effective. There is little waste in production; therefore this is considered the most economical process. The dies used to create aluminum tubing are less costly than dies and casts that cost thousands of dollars. Hundreds of dollars are spent on the dies for aluminum tubing.

Many dies for industrial purposes can only be used one time and then have to be replaced. The dies used in aluminum tubing production can be used many times over. This savings is reflected in lower production cost with a longer shelf life and less waste.

The formula that is followed in the creation of the tubing uses a standard die. This allows the creation of tubing that can be of various designs, simply by following the formula for a constant strength to weight proportion. The malleable characteristic of the aluminum is what makes this possible.

Various shapes of aluminum tubing

The formula of constant strength to weight that is incorporated into aluminum tubing makes this metal the better choice than copper or steel tubes. The disadvantage of using copper and steel tubing is that both metals weight significantly more than aluminum and are not as malleable as aluminum.

The automotive and construction fields use aluminum because of the heat shield properties it has. These heat absorption characteristics push aluminum up to the front of the line for practical application in construction and automotives. Aluminum can be bent and shaped to fit any design without additional expenditures to make this happen.

Aluminum tubing can be shaped in cylindrical shapes and square as well. According to purpose, aluminum can be made to differ in outer and inner diameters and with different alloys. It is wise to use a pressure rating when determining the maximum bend radius and temperature range that you will need for your particular application.

High Temperature heat treatment

When aluminum tubing will be used in an environment with high temperatures it is wise to use heat treated aluminum that can withstand high temperatures. Aluminum works very well in low temperatures but needs the heat treatment to stand up under high temperatures.

Artistic application

Artists, designers, even crafters love aluminum tubing because it is easily colored by different processes, chemicals and electric. The metal is easily colored by natural properties that take in color.

Easy connections

Nuts, bolts, rivets and welds make it possible to connect the aluminum tubes securely and in a variety of formations. This easy malleability of aluminum has made this metal preferred by industrial applications as well as manufacturing and many other areas of industry as well. Construction of cost effective buildings that can be in any configuration, size and height has made aluminum the first choice in metals for designers around the world.

Benefits of Aluminum Extrusion Material Characteristics

Aluminum materials, aluminum extruded profiles in particular, offer a variety of benefits over other materials and forming processes. Aluminum extrusion is a highly versatile metal forming process which allows designers and engineers to take full advantage of the physical characteristics aluminum materials offer. While other materials can mimic some of the benefits aluminum extrusion provides, view if any can replicate all of the benefits.

A primary reason aluminum extrusion is popular is because aluminum materials away less by volume than other popular metals. In fact, it can weigh as little as one third as much as iron, steel, and brass. Since it is so much lighter it is inherently easier to handle and less expensive to ship. This physical characteristic also makes it more attractive for applications in fields where minimizing weight is essential such as aerospace and high-rise construction projects.

Another benefit of aluminum materials is there a profile as extremely strong. During the extrusion process, aluminum can be made as strong as necessary for most applications. This is particularly true for cold weather applications because aluminum actually become stronger as the temperature falls.

Aluminum is also protected by its own naturally occurring oxide film. This layer of protection ensures aluminum materials will offer excellent corrosion resistance and will not rust. Additional protection through anodizing can provide even greater resistance to corrosion.

Considering its weight and cost, aluminum is an excellent thermal conductor. This makes aluminum well-suited for applications that require key exchanges. As an added benefit, extrusion is a well-suited metal forming process to help reduce shapes that will optimize the thermal conduction properties of aluminum.

Another benefit of aluminum materials is they are nonmagnetic. This allows aluminum to be used in high-voltage applications where magnetic fields come into play or where magnetic devices are deployed. The regular use of aluminum in electronics demonstrates this.

Aluminum materials are also one of the best options in terms of reflective capabilities. This is why aluminum is often used to shield products or areas from light, infrared radiation, and radio waves. Since aluminum is not combustible it will not burn, even at extremely high temperatures, which ensures it will not produce any toxic fumes.

The final benefit of forming aluminum materials through extrusion is it eliminates seams. The extrusion process makes it simple to create complex shapes in a single piece which eliminates the need for mechanical joining methods. Additionally, any part or product without a scene profiles as typically being stronger than a similar product which requires assemblage.