The Royal Canadian Mint announced that it has developed MINTSHIELD™, a proprietary process to protect the surface of their Silver bullion coins from the appearance of spotting (commonly known as milk spots due to their milky white color). While these spots do not effect the value of the silver in the coin, bullion stackers and coin collectors alike have been frustrate by the prevalence of spotting on modern Silver coins. The issue is wide-spread and not limited to any specific mint. There have been many speculations about the source of spotting, but no definitive answers. The best we can say is since it mostly affects modern coins, it likely has something to do with modern minting processes.
As one of the mints most known for spotting, especially on their bullion coins, the announcement from the Royal Canadian Mint is very significant! The trademarked Mintshield Surface Protection technology is engineered to “reduce the occurrence of white spots on silver bullion coins”. As a proprietary process, the RCM does not divulge many details about Mintshield, but they do state that all Silver Maple Leaf bullion coins going forward (including the newly released 2018 versions) will include the Mintshield technology. We are excited to see how well this will work!
Considering that the Royal Canadian Mint has in recent years added robust anti-counterfeiting security features on their bullion coins such as the micro laser engraved leaf containing their proprietary “Bullion DNA” and the precision machined radial lines on the background of the coin, Mintshield may very well place the iconic Silver Maple Leaf as the world’s leading government issued Silver bullion coin!