Counterfeiting coins has become a significant problem in Canada, with counterfeit toonies even showing up in rolls of coins obtained from banks. The Royal Canadian Mint is working in its Research and Development facility to create coins that have extra security features to resist replication. The new collector’s set of R&D test tokens allows you a glimpse behind the scenes at what the coins of the future could look like.
What Exactly Is Included in the Set?
The set consists of six Canadian tokens developed and used for testing at the Royal Canadian Mint’s R&D facility in Winnipeg. These tokens resemble coins but are not legal tender. Therefore, it would be inaccurate to refer to them as coins.
What Is the Basic Design of the Tokens?
The sixth token in the set represents the basic design used as the prototype for all the other tokens in the set. Made of nickel-plated steel, it features a maple leaf on the front and the back as well as the identifying phrase “Royal Canadian Mint” in both English and French. The other tokens in the set had security features added to this basic design for testing purposes.
What Are Some Examples of the Security Features Added to the Other Tokens?
When looking at the obverse of the fourth and fifth tokens in the set, they may be indistinguishable from the base model, except that they are plated in bronze and copper, respectively, rather than nickel. However, when you turn them over, you see that the reverse image has been enhanced with multiple security features.
Images are embossed onto the surface of the token. Some of these embossed features are raised while others are incused, meaning that they have been hammered into the metal.
Microtext is writing that is written at an extremely small scale. It is only with magnification that the text can be read; with the naked eye, it may appear merely as a line or another simple design element. For extra security, some of the microtext on the tokens is plainly visible, though not readable without magnification, while other examples are hidden somewhere on the reverse of the tokens.
Another security feature of the tokens is latent images. These are tiny raised structures with two sides, similar to the teeth of the saw. The images are only visible when viewed from a particular angle. Not only is a latent image extremely difficult to replicate, but it adds visual interest to the tokens.
What Is a Multi-Component Composite Circulation Coin?
The other three tokens in the set are prototypes for a new innovation called the Multi-Component Composite Circulation Coin. The Royal Canadian Mint holds the Canadian patent on MC4 and has applied for patents from other countries as well. The components of the MC4 included in the set are an outer ring made of steel plated with either bronze or nickel, a separator made of a plastic polymer, and an insert that consists of two different alloys: one each for the obverse and the reverse.
For example, the Token 1 insert consists of copper-plated steel on the obverse and nickel-plated steel on the reverse. The separator is a colourless, transparent polymer, and the outer ring is nickel-plated steel. Token 2 also has a nickel-plated steel outer ring, but the separator is an opaque black polymer with a filler of stainless steel, and the insert is copper-plated steel on the reverse and brass-plated steel on the obverse. Token 3 also has an opaque polymer separator, but it is white in colour instead of black. The outer ring of Token 3 is bronze-plated steel, while the obverse of the insert is copper-plated steel and the reverse is brass-plated steel.
Why Should You Purchase These Tokens From the Royal Canadian Mint at Colonial Acres?
These sets were so popular that the RCM sold out of them. We still have some in stock, so act fast before they are all gone.