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Toning On "New" (2016 To 2018) RCM Issues

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Valued Member
Canada
135 Posts
 Posted 08/11/2018  9:35 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Wandering Eskimo to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi Everyone!

Is anyone else facing issues with toning on newer RCM issues (2016 - present)?

I've noticed a few of my newer RCM releases to become toned extremely fast, relative to older issues from the mint.

A quick summary of my storage methods / situation:
- I live in a climate-controlled house (temperature and humidity).

- Only coins / processed precious metals are stored in these cases (rounds, bars).

- Upon receiving new coins, they are displayed in a glass showcase for up to 4 months. Some coins are displayed with clamshells open, while others are kept in their graphical "beauty boxes" (closed).

- The above cabinets do not have artificial lighting, and are not exposed to direct sunlight (through any windows). They are located on an "interior wall" with no rapid variations in temperature. The cabinets are located upwards of 6 feet away from A/C and heating ducts. Edit: The cabinets are stored in a second-floor location (not in a basement).

- After 3-4 months, the product is transitioned to long-term storage (cabinets), with coins in clamshells / cases. Before this transition, I check to ensure that packing slips match orders from the RCM.

- The method of collecting, temporarily displaying, and storing my coins has not changed in the past 3 years (all environmental variables are the same, down to the positioning of the cabinets and the type of lightbulbs in the space housing my glass showcase).

HOWEVER... I'm noticing that several new additions to my collection (2016 to present) are rapidly toning while stored for 3-4 months in the "temporary" glass showcase above (before they head to the long-term storage).

I've never seen such rapid toning on RCM products (all purchases direct from RCM... no 3rd party sellers or "impaired" acquisitions here). Is anyone else experiencing this?

The toning seems to affect RCM products that are "on-display" (clamshells open) and/or "enclosed" (clamshells closed and enclosed in the RCM beauty box or "black" cardboard case) - in many cases on both the reverse and the obverse.

Adding to the mystery: I have "raw" silver rounds in the exact same case (but just in factory "plastic baggies") and these are NOT toning.

I'm at a bit of a loss here... could it be the RCM packaging? Glues in the RCM displayers? Improperly sealed RCM capsules?

I've noted a few other posts on this forum related to toning, but the reports of this toning vary between new issues (present releases) and coins from earlier releases (before 2016, as an example). As a result, I figured I would start a new thread pertaining only to new issues (2016 to present).

At present, I have 5 coins / sets on my desk with this issue:
1) 2017 Locomotives Across Canada Set - All coins affected, obverse and reverse.
2) 2016 Star Trek: Enterprise - Was stored in a closed clamshell in beauty box. Both sides affected.
3) 2018 Little Creatures: Monarch Caterpillar - Stored in case with clamshell open, reverse starting to tone uniformally, obverse is toning around rim.
4) 2017 Silver Dollar: Home & Native Land - Both sides toning, stored with clamshell closed in RCM box.
5) 2018 Celebration of Spring: Apple Blossoms - Reverse of coin is starting to tone on the "tops" of the text "Canada 2018 / 15 Dollars". This coin was stores in glass case with the clamshell open.

Given recent price drops in NCLT, I'm even more discouraged about our hobby than before - not only do we have to buy "smart", we now have to be concerned with abundant defects and possible rapid toning.

I'm planning to zip an e-mail to my RCM rep about this issue, but I thought I would post here first... just to see if anybody else is experiencing this issue.

Have attached a few quick photos for reference (sorry for the poor quality... it's more difficult than I thought to capture the toning!)

Edited by Wandering Eskimo
08/11/2018 9:39 pm
Valued Member
Canada
305 Posts
 Posted 08/12/2018  01:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Whitetail Junkie to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I can honestly say that not one of my RCM NCLT coins has any toning and I've got from 2011 to 2018....however I'm western Canada in a very dry climate so that could make the difference?
Pillar of the Community
Canada
604 Posts
 Posted 08/12/2018  08:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Alex A to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Is the 2017 coin from the gold-plated locomotives set?

Can you post pics of all the coins in this set?
Valued Member
Canada
135 Posts
 Posted 08/12/2018  10:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Wandering Eskimo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@Alex A: At work today, and used a much better camera. Although the toning is still difficult to see, where there should be shiny "silver", we see a bronze color. Photos below!


Quote:
I can honestly say that not one of my RCM NCLT coins has any toning and I've got from 2011 to 2018....however I'm western Canada in a very dry climate so that could make the difference?

I'm from Western Canada myself - Manitoba! We've had a fairly dry summer, and the house is of new construction (2016) with temperature and humidity control. It's not the new house that's causing this though... I've just noticed the toning on new releases this summer.





Pillar of the Community
Canada
635 Posts
 Posted 08/29/2018  02:59 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Looney4Numi to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@Wandering Eskimo

My local post office has 2015 & 2016 coins (50%off) and 2017 coins (15% off).

I saw three 2017 "Birch Leaves with Drusy Stone" coins in the display case. One was ok, but two of them were badly toned. I've never seen this before.

These coins might pass RCM quality control as they are released, but after a few months and some toning I doubt a dealer would accept them, so the value drops even more.

Anyone know what's going on with this problem?
Valued Member
Canada
408 Posts
 Posted 08/29/2018  1:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add vonigohcr to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have seen this in display cabinets where the coins are open to the lights, both in LCS' and Canada Post. I had assumed that it was something in the lighting spectrum (Flourescent or LED) that was causing the toning. I say that since the phenomenon I saw was limited to the exposed side of the coin.

However,
Quote:
and/or "enclosed"
It seems that it may be something in the plastic capsule or clamshell case that is offgassing under certain circumstances.

While the toning appears to be even, it doesn't appear to be natural and while aesthetics are individual, I would hazard that most will find it undesirable. Especially for NCLT.

Fortunately, I have not seen this to date... (West Coast location, variable humidity but trending to high & temps from teens to high 20's Celsius... no A/C).

The Mint has packaged product using poor materials in the past (early '70's prestige sets)... I only hope that this is not a change of packaging formula for cost reasons that is causing this.
Pillar of the Community
United States
2344 Posts
 Posted 08/29/2018  9:07 pm  Show Profile   Check canadian_coins's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add canadian_coins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
It seems that it may be something in the plastic capsule or clamshell case that is offgassing under certain circumstances.


Totally agree with this theory. Mine was never exposed to sunlight.

See similar topic here: http://goccf.com/t/319521
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Pillar of the Community
Learn More...
United States
4786 Posts
 Posted 08/29/2018  9:45 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think it's a possibility that the RCM applies a "protective" coating to its proof coins (similar to what the Franklin Mint used to do to its medals) and that it is this coating that is reacting to its environment and causing the toning.


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
Valued Member
Canada
135 Posts
 Posted 08/30/2018  02:17 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Wandering Eskimo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@Looney4Numi - What you are seeing at your Canada Post is exactly what I have with "select" coins in my collection. It's strange... one coin in the cabinet can be experiencing "extreme" toning, but the coin immediately next to it is in pristine condition.

@vonigohcr - I agree with your comment below:

Quote:
It seems that it may be something in the plastic capsule or clamshell case that is offgassing under certain circumstances.


I'm trying to find a common variable amongst all of the coins I am having trouble with. The only commonalities I can think of would be:
- Physical capsule or material in the capsule
- Packaging (flock liner in clamshell, glues in clamshell
- A protective coating, like mentioned by @commems

I'm totally unsure of why we're seeing in this with "some" coin issues, but not all.

@canadian_coins - Did you ever get to the bottom of your toning issue, mentioned in the thread you referenced?

I have a rather large collection of NCLT stored away from sunlight in a climate controlled space. After seeing this with my "recent arrivals", I'm terrified to look at my coins in storage.

Has anyone else gone through their collections as of late, finding similar instances of toning?


Pillar of the Community
Canada
620 Posts
 Posted 08/30/2018  02:31 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add wilsonwu89 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I vacuum seal my coin clamshells with a FoodSaver.

I opened up an old proof set (which are notorious for toning along the edges) and they look as good as the day I bought them.
Valued Member
Canada
135 Posts
 Posted 08/30/2018  02:47 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Wandering Eskimo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@wilsonwu89 - This is a neat idea! Do you have a photo of the finished product? If you want to view a particular coin, do you simply re-seal it again afterwards?
Pillar of the Community
Canada
635 Posts
 Posted 08/30/2018  03:01 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Looney4Numi to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If a 2013 coin that was never exposed to sunlight develops toning on both sides, then it's not just the lighting. It must be the capsule, case, or coating, as mentioned. Since this happens to older coins too, I'm also afraid to look at my collection in storage @Wandering Eskimo.

My guess is that it's either a washing solution or coating because the toning is even on both sides. The question remains: why just some and not others?

If it's the washing solution then a batch of coins might be subjected to one solution before being replaced with a fresher one. Maybe the toned coins are the last ones to be used in the solution before being replaced? Just a thought.


Valued Member
Canada
123 Posts
 Posted 09/17/2018  09:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add upc239 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I saw the one-sided toning on the 2017 silver proof dollar (2017 LIMITED EDITION SILVER DOLLAR PROOF SET - CANADA 150: OUR HOME AND NATIVE LAND) at an LCS last week. The case was open inside the glass display counter. Only the silver dollar was toned (rest of the coins non-silver). This is not limited to 2016-2017. There is another thread here: http://goccf.com/t/323598
Edited by upc239
09/17/2018 09:41 am
Pillar of the Community
Canada
798 Posts
 Posted 09/17/2018  09:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JGG to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I see a lot of yellowing on newer issues at the Post Office.
Valued Member
Canada
135 Posts
 Posted 09/27/2018  03:31 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Wandering Eskimo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Some additional information on the toning issues...

I just came home from a business trip to Montreal and the GTA. In three Shoppers Drug Mart postal areas, I found coins that exhibited this "bronzing" effect. My guess is that the temperature / humidity / lighting conditions in these environments is not conducive to long-term coin storage, and is causing the toning.

I have followed up on this matter with my RCM rep. Here is our e-mail thread (edited to remove identifying markers and personal information):

ORIGINAL MESSAGE:
Hi XXXXX,

Hope you had a great weekend!

Wondering if you could help me out with an issue? We spoke in the past about some of my RCM coins toning, and I'm wondering if I could make an exchange on these coins?

A quick summary of my storage methods / situation:
I live in a climate-controlled house (temperature and humidity).
Upon receiving new coins, they are displayed in a glass showcase for up to 6 months. Some coins are displayed with clamshells open, while others are kept in their graphical "beauty boxes" (closed).
Only coins / processed precious metals are stored in my glass display case (rounds, bars).
The above cabinets do not have artificial lighting, and are not exposed to direct sunlight (through any windows). They are located on an "interior wall" with no rapid variations in temperature. The cabinets are located upwards of 6 feet away from A/C and heating ducts. The cabinets are stored in a second-floor location (not in a basement).
After 3-6 months, the product is transitioned to long-term storage (off-site cabinets), with coins in clamshells / cases. Before this transition, I check to ensure that packing slips match orders from the RCM.
The method of collecting, temporarily displaying, and storing my coins has not changed in the past 3 years (all environmental variables are the same, down to the positioning of the cabinets and the type of lightbulbs in the space housing my glass showcase).

However... I'm noticing that several new additions to my collection are rapidly toning while stored as above.

Here are the coins I am having issues with:
- Great Canadian Locomotives Set - Heavy Toning, all sides
- Star Trek Enterprise - Heavy Toning, looks gold
- Our Home & Native Land Proof Dollar - Starting to turn gold
- Apple Blossoms, Celebration of Spring - Reverse is toning on "Canada 2018"
- Little Creatures - Monarch Caterpillar - Reverse is toning, obverse is also toning, but only around rim

This is the first time I've ever had "mass-toning" effects on RCM coins. Would it be possible to exchange these coins? I would like to keep all within my collection.

Thanks,
XXXX


RCM REPLY #1
Apologies for the delay, due to the timeframe of receiving certain coins it was more difficult to produce RMA's.

Attached is a label for exchanges for the Caterpillar and Apple Blossom.

StarTrek coin is too old to action RMA's on it.

Proof Dollar is also too old to action RMA's on it.

For the Locomotive set, you would need to return the metal holder for it as well, then I can exchange only the coins available which is RS 20 and GE ES44AC.

What are your thoughts?


MY REPLY #1
Hi XXXXX,

Thanks for your help here!

How would you recommend handling future defective items from the RCM?

In all honesty, I've drastically cut back on my purchases since I've noticed two things with RCM coins:
1) Toning issues on new releases
2) Dramatic declines on the secondary market

I am concerned that the RCM will not warranty possible defects after a given span of time (1 year, as an example). While I realize that post-shipment storage and treatment may be questionable with some individuals, I assure you that I am not storing your coins in any inappropriate fashion.

I have nearly $XX,XXX of RCM products in my collection (purchased from the RCM and from dealers), and a lack of assurance against possible defects really concerns me. Is there anything we can do to overcome this? What happens if I continue to see toning defects down the line?

Somewhat related, I was in a Shoppers Drug Mart in Cambridge, ON this weekend, and I saw a few coins with the "exact" same symptoms that I experienced. These coins were stored a bit differently than mine (in a lit case, with the clamshells open). Additionally, there are several mentions of this issue on the coin forms. It looks like this problem extends beyond my personal experiences. Do you know if a change in manufacturing processes is causing this effect? Is it the problem possibly caused by defective plastic flips? Could the packaging be affecting the coins?

Is there any way for the RCM to warranty problems like this? Please let me know, as this will be a large factor in how I continue to collect / what I continue to collect from the RCM.

Thanks,
XXXX


RCM REPLY #2
XXXX,

Communicating with our quality engineer, could you clarify in detail the toning issue?

Is it a yellow-ish mark?


MY REPLY #2a
Hi XXXXX,

I will forward photos when I return home. The entire surface of the coins has turned gold... they almost look gold plated. In most cases, this toning has occurred on "both" the reverse and the "obverse" sides. This toning has occurred in situations where the clamshell cases were closed, and where they were open. There is no light source in my storage cabinet, and the cabinet is located away from windows and furnace ducts.

It's a strange situation... it almost looks like the coins were plated and/or dunked in some form of solution before shipping (which has since discolored).

Thanks,
XXXX


MY REPLY #2b - Sent photos described above
Hi XXXXX,

Here are a couple of shots of two of the coins. As mentioned previously, the coins almost look gold / gold-plated. I've never seen anything like this before.

There's a lot of talk about similar issues in the coin forums (example: http://goccf.com/t/319521)

Let me know how you make out here - I'm unsure of what to do moving forward. if there is a chance that we'll see more situations like this (with no warranty), I'm likely to be a bit gun-shy with purchases from the RCM.

Also. I just received my Mosaic Series -Cougar coin, and there is a large smudge / fingerprint right below "DG Regina". Would it be possible to exchange this coin?

Thanks,
XXXX

[NOTE: I included the exact photos I posted earlier in the forms with this message]


RCM REPLY #3
Hello XXXX,

After discussing with our quality department, I will share the feedback in regards to the toning issue.

From the quality and system, it was explained that the RCM applies a protective coating on our coins - this is to protect the gold and silver coins from tarnishing. [italics added for emphasis]

The occurrence of this toning is however not common. Certain environmental circumstances could contribute to a toning issue where the coating will turn into a bronze color over time.

I was briefed that the chances of this toning issue is more likely to occur in situations where the coins are exposed to to direct/indirect UV exposure from light sources or also in hot/humid temperatures.

However, the majority of coins does not exhibit these properties and often is random from coin to coin that may have the same coating applied.

Feedback such as this is an important integrated part and appreciate you informing about this. As part of our continuous improvement culture at the Mint, we continue to evaluate all coating and manufacturing options to produce excellent coins that can be preserved in great condition for many years under normal storage conditions.

If you wish to rework the coins it could be a possibility to do this, but it is risky due to the handling needed that could damage the coins in other ways and is impossible for any coin with paint since the lacquer is below the paint and stripping it off would also remove some of the paint.

Unfortunately, at this time the RCM cannot guarantee against toning of coins in the future based on a variety of variables associated with transport and long-term storage of the coins. You do however have your one-year guarantee for money back on any product defects.

Thank you.
XXXXX


SUMMARY:

1) It appears that some people guessed correctly, the RCM "is" applying a protective coating to their coins, and this is what is causing the discoloration.

2) There is a one-year return policy on defective coins, after which, it appears us collectors are out-of-luck with defective merchandise.

3) There may be a chance for "re-working" coins with this issue... interesting.

4) I'm wondering if some of the "exposure" described by the RCM in our e-mails could be caused by shipping through Canada Post? They deliver in non-airconditioned units, and leave parcels in outdoor mailboxes. These don't sound like "ideal" conditions, based on my RCM rep's messages.

5) My personal apprehensions about future RCM purchases really haven't been addressed (incidental toning, secondary market depreciation). This leaves me wondering how I should best enjoy this hobby moving forward. I'm at a bit of a loss here, as I don't really want to feel "losses" on future purchases.


Pillar of the Community
Canada
4621 Posts
 Posted 09/27/2018  07:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add john100 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sounds like the crack RCM engineering teams has tries to improve from the bullion departments anti-counterfeit of milk spots to this crazy new spray that turns coins goldish in some environmental conditions. The rest of the world mints doesn't seem to have this problem with their NCLT coins, why the RCM just doesn't ask what they doing or applying is amazing, I only have a few US mint products and a few New Zealand coins and they look perfect 4 to 5 years latter, plus the packaging is 10 times better. Except for a handful of NCLT or must have, wait 3 months you will find it for sale at decent discount. Take a 1967 dollar, a 51 years old coin circulation coin you can find white examples at any show unless stored wrong there is no toning
Edited by john100
09/27/2018 07:49 am
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