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Canada takes the lead

Imagine a world of bullion coins where you place a coin in an electronic scanner and you learn beyond doubt that the coin is genuine.

That is the certainty that the Royal Canadian Mint is about to introduce for new Maple Leaf gold and silver bullion coins in the fourth quarter of this year.

The scanner will actually take a photo of each coin and compare it electronically with the database of bullion coins that will be maintained by the Royal Canadian Mint.

But the security actually begins when in the dies that strike the coins.

Each die is micro-engraved with an anti-counterfeiting laser security mark, which is a textured maple leaf and the coin’s production year.

There are radial lines and also a covert piece called bullion DNA. DNA in this case stands for digital non-destructive activation.

This is captured as an image with an encrypted string of code that is stored in the database.

Each die has its own unique mark. The 2014 and later gold Maple Leaf coins already have this as do 2015 silver Maple Leaf coins.

The ANA convention was the forum at which the RCM brought dealers into the discussion and their reaction was positive.

Cost of the scanner is $500.

This will help underwrite the program.

The European launch will occur at the World Money Fair in February in Berlin.

How is that for peace of mind for bullion buyers?

The U.S. Mint had better take notice.

For more information, visit:

Canadian DNA Program

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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