Nickel is one of the most abundant elements in the Earth. Much of it can be found on the Earth’s crust. It has a silvery color and part of the metallic group of elements. In terms of properties, it is a common alloying metal because of its anti-corrosion properties. It is also widely used to protect other metals like in the case of electroplating. Only a small amount of this element is added to other metals to be able to share its protective properties. Aside from its anti-corrosion property and silvery appearance, the following are some facts about this common element:
Fact 1: Most of the world’s nickel supply is sourced from Canada. In the Sudbury region of Ontario, Canada, nickel ore is abundant. This site alone contributes to 15% of the world’s nickel production. Experts have pointed out that this region in Canada is believed to have been a site for a meteor crash which explains the high density of nickel ore.
Fact 2: Nickel is referred to as the “false copper”. The term nickel is said to have been taken from the German word “kupfernickel” which basically translates to false copper. Nickel ore is known to have a similar color to copper which deceives some miners and eventually led to the term “false copper” or “kupfernickel”.
Fact 3: The first nickel coin was made back in 1881. Nickel may have been mined thousands of years before this period but actual coin production using this mineral only took place in 1881.
Fact 4: Only 6% of nickel’s use is for the production of coins. Many people may be familiar with this element because of the coins they have on their pocket, but coin production only represents a minor usage for this common element.
Fact 5: Majority of nickel that is mined in different parts of the world is used for producing stainless steel. About two-thirds or 65% of all nickel supply is intended for the manufacture of stainless steel. Nickel is a known anti-corrosive element and this property makes it very ideal for combining with other metals to form stainless steel.
Fact 6: Nickel is also very resistant to heat. This element may be more famous for its anti-corrosion properties but it is also very strong that it can withstand very high temperatures.
Fact 7: The US 5-cent coin which is called a “nickel” is actually mostly made of copper. It does contain nickel but this element contributes only 25% to the actual coin. 75% of the “nickel” coin is actually made of copper.
Fact 8: Nickel can make glass green. Being a metallic element, most nickel supplies are intended for combining with other metals or for electroplating purposes. Not many people know that this element can also improve glass production and produces the green color along with its supportive properties.
Fact 9: Plant growth and development needs nickel. This element is considered an essential content in plants in terms of growth and development. Various fruits, nuts, and vegetables for example contain significant amounts of nickel in them.
Fact 10: Chocolate contains nickel. Chocolates are made from cacao beans which are rich sources of dietary nickel. The nickel content in these beans is not lost during processing and this explains why chocolate still contains this element.