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Niobium crystals and 1cm3 cube
Niobium crystals and an anadized cube
General information
Material type






Numismatic information
Used for

commemorative and fantasy coins

Used by

Flag of Austria Austria
Flag of Canada Canada
Flag of Latvia Latvia
Flag of Liberia Liberia
Flag of Luxembourg Luxembourg
Flag of Mongolia Mongolia
Fred Zinkann

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Niobium, formerly columbium, is a rare, soft, grey, transition metal. It has recently been used in the production of a small amount of commemorative and fantasy coins from around the world.



A niobium coin of Latvia.

The first recorded niobium coin was a fantasy piece of the McMurdo Station minted by American artist Fred Zinkann in 1987. However, the first official coin composed of niobium was a bimetallic commemorative 20 euro coin of Austria struck in 2003 to mark the 700th anniversary of the establishment of Hall in Tyrol. Thenceforth, niobium coins of the same denomination have been produced annually by the Austrian Mint in Vienna. In 2004, Latvia and Liberia introduced their first niobium coins, followed by Mongolia in 2005, Luxembourg in 2009, and Canada in 2011. However, in 1965 the Franklin Mint in the USA, produced the Gardiner's Island set, several of these coins contained an alloy of Niobium (Columbium) called Franklinium I. Additionally the 1965 Harrah's casino token was made with Niobium in its composition.

Some fantasy coins of the Crozet Islands, Enderbyland, Middle Earth (specifically Angband, Dale, Eregion, and The Shire), the South Orkney Islands, and Viinamarisaar have additionally been struck using niobium.


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