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Canada gets the milk spots off coins

Have you ever discovered unsightly white spots on one of your uncirculated or proof silver coins?

I have.

They detract from eye appeal. They detract from value.

The Royal Canadian Mint has developed a new way to fight them.

Announced this morning is a process called MINTSHIELDTM.

It will be applied to all 2018 silver Maple Leaf bullion coins.

The RCM explains the problem:

White spots (also called milk spots) are surface discolorations which sometimes mar the appearance of silver bullion products. Unlike tarnishing, which is a by-product of oxidation, white spots don’t have a single, predictable cause and this has complicated the search for an effective solution to a problem affecting silver bullion coin producers all over the world. MINTSHIELDTM will fight the problem.

This is the most concise description of the problem I have ever come across.

“The Mint has a long history of revolutionizing the bullion industry with advances in purity and security, and MINTSHIELDTM is yet another exciting step in that direction,” said Sandra Hanington, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint.

“By protecting the dazzling appearance of our silver Maple Leaf bullion coins, our engineers have found a new way to bolster the world-wide appeal of our signature silver bullion product," she said.

This new process could very well revolutionize how collectors go about choosing what to buy.

We know collectors are attracted to specific national issuers.

We know they are attracted to good artwork.

We know they want the highest grade possible.

As part of that quest for high grades, the potential elimination of milk spots could become a key consideration.

The bullion coin market is intensely competitive.

A new advantage like this could have a big impact.

It is invisible to the eye. It doesn’t alter a coin’s composition or purity. It can be applied efficiently in a large-scale production environment.

Quite rightly the RCM brags about this and its other recent advances.

MINTSHIELDTM surface protection follows BULLION DNA™ anti-counterfeiting technology, laser micro engraving and 99.99 percent purity.

British statesman Winston Churchill was quoted as saying his tastes were simple; he only wanted the best.

When it comes to coins, collectors want only the best.

The Royal Canadian Mint obviously wants to give it to them with this new process.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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