Numismatists should also take a close look at the new coin security technology recently announced by Canada. P.K. Saha highlighted a key passage in Jeff Starck's Coin World article we mentioned last week.
Perhaps the most tantalizing aspect of the new coinage, and the area that could be the most misunderstood, is a patented process that has been branded as Digital Non-Reactive Activation.
The DNA process reads or "gives" the coin a signature that has the uniqueness similar to cellular DNA so that, if the RCM desired, the coin could be traced to the die it was made from and the time and date it was made.
Peter Ho, RCM executive director, told Coin World in Berlin that the algorithm has multiple points of data so that a damaged coin could still be recognized when it is scanned, and that new data would override earlier data.
According to Truong, the RCM subjected registered coins to a lengthy wear test to see how the process held up, placing coins in tumblers for many days, taking them out at various stages. "We tested it extensively, where the coin was so damaged it does not look like any coin that is in circulation, and it recognized it," he said.
The DNA technology can be applied to previously struck coins and can thus be employed for coins that are in museum or institutional collections, for instance. "A collector who loans out their coins to museums wants to make sure he gets them back," Ho said.
"It's going to explode – it's going to come fast," Ho said. Once the system is implemented, an
individual will be able to take a picture of a coin with a phone to determine whether it is genuine, Ho said,
illustrating the process by pulling out a smart phone and snapping a picture. "A shopkeeper can use this.
Since time immemorial shopkeepers have sought ways to determine the genuineness of coins and banknotes crossing
their tills. This is only the latest and I predict that it will not be the end of the battle – I wouldn't be
surprised if someday someone comes along with a way to counterfeit the anti-counterfeiting measure. In the meantime,
this is an interesting tool for the good guys.
To read the complete article, see:
Canada introduces newest coin technology
Wayne Homren, Editor
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