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More than one kind of clad

Everybody knows what a clad coin is, right?

Of course, if I am asking such a question, there must be a nitpick in there somewhere.

Since 1965 the U.S. Mint has made dimes and quarters of a copper-nickel clad composition. The half dollar turned to copper-nickel clad in 1971 after being a silver clad alloy 1965-1970.

After nearly 50 years, collectors simply say clad and we know what we mean.

However, copper-nickel clad is not the only current clad composition for U.S. coins.

The Native American and Presidential dollars also have a clad alloy, though it is much better hidden than the copper-nickel clad.

The dollar coins have a copper core. On the surface is an alloy of 77 percent copper, 12 percent zinc and 7 percent.

It has a nice golden color. It is also perfectly correct to call it a clad coin. But to do so would cause no end of confusion. That’s why the “golden dollar” reference is the easiest way to refer to it.

Clad might be a correct name for the dollar composition, but to use it for the dollar is simply to invite blank stares.