The an initial question seems unambiguous and also straightforward, right? bear in mind, however, the an obstacle one experience in genuine life as soon as trying come purchase precisely one pound of bananas or peaches. Presumably the 2nd can be cleared up if we can get our hand on the relevant figures.

You are watching: How much are a pound of dimes and a pound of quarters each worth?

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Many youngsters have heard, and perhaps also fallen for, the standard teaser: "Which is heavier: a ton of bricks or a ton the feathers?"

The juxstaposition that the words "brick" and also "feather," in the context of weight, serves as perfect misdirection. It catches a lot of of people out the an initial time they conference it.

Yet if we desire to get really picky, the prize is trickier 보다 it seems at an initial (OK, second) sight: The sheer mass of a hill of feathers is hard to gain on any balance to compare v a residence of bricks. The 2 proposed collections of objects are, in a an extremely real sense, incomparable. Moreover, it seems unlikely the anybody has ever amassed the forced tonnage that feathers.

Closer come earth, and also ignoring gravitational variations because of extreme volume variation, us pose the complying with two questions relating to U.S. Coinage:
Which is heavier: a lb of soldier or a lb of dimes?Which is precious more: a lb of quarters or a pound of dimes?

The an initial one seems unambiguous and also straightforward, right? bear in mind, however, the an obstacle one experience in real life once trying to purchase specifically one lb of bananas or peaches.

Presumably the second one can be cleared up if us can get our hand on the pertinent figures. It certainly isn"t an apples-and-oranges comparison.

If you"re emotion brave, you might use these questions as the basis for a bar gambling or two, probably wagering $20 top top the correct outcome. But read come the bitter finish here first, so you"ll it is in well-prepared to controversy your instance if the need arises.

According to your coin specification webpage, a dime weighs 2.268 grams, and a quarter weighs 5.670 grams.

(OK, technically, that"s simply for brand-new, shiny, "legal tender coins presently in manufacturing for United says Mint annual Sets." that knows what"s in circulation native previous releases, or what state the coins in our pockets room in. We"re walking to job-related in good faith through the Mint data. If you seek inspiration, try this video clip of nickel-plated soldier being struck in ~ the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.)

Let"s emphasis on one dime in ~ a time. According to Wolfram Alpha, a solitary gram is 0.002205 pounds, or around the load of a dollar invoice (or document clip), from which it follows by multiplication the 2.268 grams is 0.00500094 pounds.

Curiously, as we walk to press, Wolfram Alpha gives a an ext rounded 0.0050001 pounds once asked the directly. (Less accuracy on a bigger scale? That"s odd.)

It"s also noted there that this is 91 percent that the weight of a penny (a coin weights 2.500 grams), but we saw no cite of the fact that it"s the weight of a dime.

Based ~ above the an initial calculation, a pound of dimes appears to contain 199.9624070 dimes (we just divided 0.00500094 right into 1). That"s close come 200 dimes, i m sorry is precisely $20. So would certainly 200 dimes actually balance a 1-pound weight precisely on a scale, if push involved shove?

Is the 199.9624070 vs. 200 mismatch the result of a less-than-perfect metric-to-pound conversion?

Meanwhile, Wolfram Alpha switch the Mint figure for the load of a 4 minutes 1 to 0.0125 pounds, and additionally records the this is 1.00002 time the fixed of a quarter. Whoa! This argues that a Mint quarter is heavier 보다 what Wolfram Alpha think a quarter weighs.

Had us gone v 5.670 times 0.002205, we"d have derived a an ext precise (but is it much more accurate?) 0.0125023 pounds. Wolfram Alpha shows up to think that a quarter has actually a massive of 5.7 grams, i beg your pardon is strange, together that"s remarkable heavier than a Mint quarter.

If we go v the 0.0125-pounds-per-quarter conversion, climate a lb of dimes has 1/0.0125 = 80 quarters, i beg your pardon is specifically $20. However, if us go v the 0.0125023-pounds-per-quarter conversion, then a pound of quarters includes 1/0.0125023 = 79.985282708 quarters, which comes the end to $19.996320677.

The very first surprise is the a pound of dimes and a pound of soldier are essentially worth the same amount the money, specific $20, a simultaneously on two levels that isn"t therefore well-known.

The worth of big quantities of dimes and also quarters, one of two people individually or mixed, deserve to thus be assessed making use of the exact same conversion factor. Banks, that course, have known around this "silver" typical all along.

Moreover, isn"t it remarkable that 1 pound of these coins is worth $20? Magic or coincidence? save reading.

Let"s take it a closer look. It appears that 200 dimes contempt overshoots a pound, therefore if there is a strictly implemented weight border of 1 pound, climate you"ll need to settle for 199 dimes, i beg your pardon is just $19.90. Similarly, it appears that 80 soldier either weighs specifically a pound or overshoots it. Again, if over there is a strictly applied weight border of 1 pound, then you"ll need to settle because that 79 or 80 quarters, depending on which conversion you think is accurate. That comes the end to either $19.75 or $20.

So if inquiry 2 over really meant "which is worth more: the materials of a seasoned of soldier or the contents of a seasoned of dimes, offered a weight border of one pound?" climate in one sense it can go either way.

On the other hand, if someone asked you because that a lb of dimes, they"d it is in disappointed if girlfriend shortchanged them. For this reason if question 2 really supposed "which is worth more: the contents of a jug of soldier or the contents of a seasoned of dimes, each of which have to weigh at least one pound?" then, well, it also gets confusing!

You have to be starting to wonder if there is together a thing as specific pound that dimes (or quarters), in the sense that a repertoire of among these coins might perfectly balance a pound load on a balance.

Some readers may wish come redo the above estimates using more accurate counter factors, in the hope that an ext definitive conclusions deserve to be reached.

Let"s go back to the figures given by the Mint because that the dime (2.268 grams) and quarter (5.670 grams), leaving next for currently the concern of exactly what 1 lb of together coins would certainly consist of.

Multiplying each number by 1,000, we conclude that a dime weighs 2,268 milligrams and also a 4 minutes 1 weighs 5,670 milligrams. No evident relationship between those number jumps out at us, however let"s aspect them into primes:

First note that 2,268 = 2 x 2 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 7, and 5,670 = 2 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 5 x 7. That follows, by utilizing the highest visible power of each prime factor, that 2 x 2 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 5 x 7 = 11,340 is a many of both. In fact, it"s their least typical multiple. Even better, we have actually 11,340 = 5 x 2,268 = 2 x 5,670.

We"ve simply discovered, v the help of prime numbers and also the U.S. Mint specifications, miscellaneous that was in front of us all along: five brand-new dimes weigh the exact same as two new quarters! Of that there can be no doubt. Lb for pound, half dollar for fifty percent dollar, they come the end the same. Well, the second part of the is absolutely true.

(The following time you ask for change of a disagreement in a store, asking for 7 coins v the property that few of them will specifically balance every the others, and also see what sort of solution you get. )

The preferred weight balance in this case follows from dividing the dollar"s precious in the surrounding photo appropriate down the middle. Well, perhaps for true balance over there we should aim for a small left the center.

It turns out that either the those collections (the dimes or the quarters) can indeed be changed with a half-dollar. Thirteen years ago somebody asked Snopes, "Is is true the in U.S. Currency, a lb of dimes, quarters, and half-dollars in any combination is worth $20?" One respondent opined the the prize is yes, because "they are all precious $1 per 22.68g." Rivkah Chaya shed some light on why: "It works, because earlier when dimes, quarters, half-dollars, and also dollar coins were all silver, they had their respective confront values the silver, for this reason a quarter would certainly weigh 2.5 x what a dime did." possession is 20/20.

Fair enough, it"s every by design, not accident -- presumably likewise the bit around them weighing 1 pound in suitably rounded quantities.

But isn"t it then amazing that the weights (in milligrams) required on separation, personal, instance dimes and also quarters comes out to be 1) whole numbers, and 2) numbers v no prime determinants larger 보다 7? Or is that just a practically near-coincidence because of (here comes the word one an ext time) rounding?

To return to the two inquiries we posed at the outset, the answers appear to be the same. Together in, "They"re the same!"

Here"s a final question come ponder: "Which is greater: a pound"s worth of quarters or a pound"s precious of dimes?"

You might wish to consult the financial institution of England prior to jumping to any type of conclusions. If we space speaking that Sterling currency, then the answer is i can not qualify to it is in the same (i.e., "the same"). Psychic the fruit quandary we mentioned above; it more than likely plays a duty here.

See more: What Is A Literary Devices In Macbeth Act 1, Literary Device Quotes In Macbeth

Thanks once again to Spelman College"s Dan Bascelli for graphics production and assistance. Thanks likewise to Dave Aton and Bruce Reznick for useful pointers and also discussions.




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