Thursday, October 3, 2013
Melting 2 Silver Dimes to Make a Nugget.
As the title says, and something I just did for fun and curiosity. Like the video says, the dimes were damaged and had no numismatic value, I understood the implications that they would no longer be recognizable. I wanted a nugget, and I would have payed five bucks for it anyway. An acid test should show it is 90% silver.
No, this is not illegal. The only legal issues you can run into is melting down pennies or nickels, and only if you are melting them for profit. Unless it is for profit, pennies and nickels can still be destroyed for educational, recreational, tourist, or jewelry purposes. Any currency would be illegal to deface if for fraudulent purposes, like trying to make a 1$ bill look like a 10$ bill.
Quote from Kenneth B. Gubin, Counsel to the Mint.
"As you are already aware, a federal statute in the criminal code of the United States (18 U.S.C. 331), indeed makes it illegal if one "fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales or lightens" any U.S. coin. However, being a criminal statute, a fraudulent intent is required for violation. Thus, the mere act of compressing coins into souvenirs is not illegal, without other factors being present."