Unique Coin Finishes

Many innovative new coins are the result of modern minting technology. One of the ways that some Mints offer innovation is through new finishes. Here we will discuss some of the special finishes you may see on modern coins.

Many innovative new coins are the result of modern minting technology. One of the ways that some Mints offer innovation is through new finishes. Here we will discuss some of the special finishes you may see on modern coins.

A variety of coins can be found with gilt finishes. What is a gilt finish exactly? In most instances, a piece with a gilt finish with be a silver coin with a layer of gold that has been applied to specific portions of the design. For example, you may see a gilt Lunar coin that has gold on the animal that is depicted for that lunar cycle, while the rest of the coin displays its original silver color. Typically, the gold used in a gilt finish is 24 karat, but it does depend. The silver content of the coin remains the same, the gold is applied as a thin coating over it. When you’re looking at coins, you will see the term gilt frequently to refer to gold plating. You may be familiar with the related term, gilded.

Among the many types of coin finishes that can be found on the market today, you may also notice glow in the dark coins. There are some differences as far as how glow in the dark coins are designed, but let’s start from the beginning. Obviously, these coins will glow when the lights are out. The glowing portions are charged by light sources such as the sun or the lights in your home.

Now, as for the differences. Some glow in the dark coins are simple as far as the glow in the dark portions. Many of these coins are made of silver and a glow in the dark material is simply applied to specific portions on top of the minted design. The most notable difference in glow in the dark coins from a visual standpoint is that many of them are not a surprise, but some are. For example, many of these coins will continue to show the same design when they are taken out of the light and into the dark. However, some more ingenious coins actually show hidden features or designs that are not visible in the light.

Lenticular coins are another relatively new addition to the numismatic world. These coins can be quite interesting visually since they change. Lenticular coins are also known as 3D coins. When a design is lenticular, it has the appearance of depth. If you have the chance to look at a lenticular coin in person, be sure to tilt it from side to side. If the design features an image that changes, this is typically how they are oriented. The tilt from left to right will take it from the first design to the second and back again.

As an example, the Royal Canadian Mint, which releases coins with many of the special finishes mentioned here, released a lenticular Optimus Prime coin in 2019. Appropriately enough, the design changes to show Optimus in both his forms.  

A few hologram coins are released for collectors from time to time as well. These coins can be dazzling because of the sheer range of colors and shades that a hologram finish can produce. Put that hologram finish against a gold or silver background and then it’s really something to see. The Royal Canadian Mint is known for minting hologram coins as part of their impressive lineup for collectors. Hologram finishes are something that just has to be seen in person to be appreciated fully.

There are certainly a wide range of special coin finishes available to collectors today. It’s also worth noting that a number of sovereign bullion coins can be found with a gilt finish, although these are obviously special runs. With so many types of coin finishes to choose from, there’s always something new and exciting to add to your collection. If any of the special finishes mentioned here sound like something you’d love to own, just keep your eye open. You’ll find plenty of options over the course of a single year.

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