Did You Know – Only Sweaty Coins Smell

It turns out that the metallic smell people associate with some coins doesn’t come from the coins themselves – it comes from byproducts of human sweat!

Coins Don't Stink - Helga in pigtails with a clothespin on her nose

Coins Don't Stink - courtesy of Helga Weber on Flickr

A study out of the University of Leipzig Germany found that the metallic smell was caused by 1-octen-2-one. This chemical comes from the oxidation of lipids on your skin – in other words, it comes from the evaporation of sweat. When we touch the surface of coins, a little bit of metal dissolves into the sweat on our hands and forms the distinctive “smell of money”.

That, and whatever was spilled/poured/sneezed or otherwise transferred onto the coins before you touched them last…

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