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Russian-Recycled Nickel Used In U.S. Coins

February 12, 1994

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A business venture with the U.S. Mint is adding yet another footnote to the passing of the Cold War.

A metals recycler turned to a Russian processing plant to recycle scrap metal containing nickel, and the refined nickel is going into the five-cent coins in your pocket.

Sovereign Recycling International Inc. of Bettendorf, Iowa, sold 40 tons of recycled nickel to the U.S. Mint in November for nearly $167,000, Mint spokeswoman Brenda Gatling said Thursday.

It was the first time the Mint has purchased nickel recycled in Russia, the company said.

Nickels, despite their name, are three-fourths copper and only 25 percent nickel. During fiscal 1993, the U.S. Mint used 2,108 tons of nickel and 10,108 tons of copper for coins.

Cold War-era U.S. laws bar the import of Russian nickel into the United States, but the metal that went through the Severonickel refinery in Murmansk was certified as originating in the United States, Gatling said.

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