Mint confirms discolouring on modern silver coins

More examples still turning up

By Jesse Robitaille

The Royal Canadian Mint has confirmed some of the silver coins recently featured in CCN are discoloured rather than mistakenly gold plated.

After a west-coast dealer reported a similar-looking silver coin – one of many he owns with what he believed to be artificial toning rather than a gold-plating error – CCN contacted the Mint.

“I can confirm that the coins you reference are not gold plated,” said Alex Reeves, the Mint’s senior public affairs manager, about the dealer’s 2018 renewed silver dollar featuring the National War Memorial and other examples with all-over toning. “We are aware that the protective coating on some previous silver coins discoloured when they were exposed to the environment. We rectified this issue a few years ago. Customers can always contact the Mint’s customer service team should they have any concern about their coins.”

This March, Reeves also confirmed the Mint has been using “an improved coating” since 2018. Before that, since 2011, the previous coating “could cause toning under very specific environmental conditions,” he added.

After reading the recent CCN coverage, Jim Richardson, the owner of Western Coins & Stamps in Richmond, B.C., contacted the publication with a different theory on the slew of silver coins turning up with a golden appearance.

Richardson, who has operated his retail store for four decades, described his theory as “a different possible explanation” to the one originally outlined by collectors in CCN.

At his storefront in Richmond, B.C., Richardson displays all of his Mint products in neon-lit showcases with the coin boxes open, so the coins are always visible.

“We have at least 30 different Mint items that have toned golden or copper colour,” he said, adding there is “no way that they are plating errors.”

“Every one of the coins was put in our case as brilliant RCM issues, and over the past three to seven years, they have gone gold inside our case.”

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