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Third Place Prize - A Bunch of Pennies

Sometimes… or actually quite often, I find cool/fun/hilarious things on the internet. Only vary rarely, however, do they have anything to do with brass and bronze. Today was one of those rare occasions.

Back in 1992, the Australian government officially took their one and two-cent coins out of circulation. Those coins, much like American pennies, were largely made of copper. So now Australia has a huge pile of copper. What to do with it?

Well, if you remember the year 2000 (and if you do, great job surviving Y2K), you’ll recall Sydney hosted the Summer Olympics. And what kind of medal do they give out for third place finishers?

Correct! Bronze. And what is the main elemental metal component of bronze? Copper!

So, in one of those moments where practicality meets sentimentality, the Australian Mint struck all of the bronze medals for the Sydney Olympics out of old coins (plus some zinc and tin). I just hope they washed them first.

Read more about the Sydney medals here, and special thanks to Redditor u/davidsmeaton for submitting this article to r/todayilearned.

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