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  • Gold £1,855.35 oz -0.50%
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Gold -0.50%
£1,855.35 oz
Silver -0.72%
£22.58 oz
Platinum -1.99%
£749.25 oz
Gold -0.50%
£1,855.35 oz
Silver -0.72%
£22.58 oz
Platinum -1.99%
£22.58 oz

Silver articles

Understanding Milk Spots on Silver Coins

Introduction: Milk spots are unsightly white marks that can appear on the surface of silver coins and bars, in particular those with a high purity (999.0 or higher). These marks resemble dried milk and can impact both bullion and proof-finished coins.

Causes: The exact cause is unknown, but it’s believed to involve the chemicals used during the minting and annealing process, as well as the silver’s reaction to contaminants during production, handling, or storage. These spots can develop long after the coins have been minted.

Prevention: While there is no method that is guaranteed to prevent milk spots from appearing, correct storage and handling can help. Encapsulating coins to limit their exposure to air and contaminants is recommended. However, if the spots originate from the production process, they may still appear over time.

Efforts to Mitigate Milk Spots:

Mints have tried to reduce milk spots. For instance, the Royal Canadian Mint developed the MINTSHIELD™ technology, which claims to significantly reduce the occurrence of these spots on silver Maple Leaf coins since 2018. The Perth Mint has also improved its production environment to minimise airborne particles that could contribute to milk spots.

Impact on Value: When it comes to bullion coins, milk spots do not typically affect their resale value, as these coins are valued primarily for their metal content. However, for collectors, the aesthetic appeal of proof coins can be diminished by milk spots, potentially affecting their market value.

Removal: Attempting to remove milk spots is not recommended, as it can damage the coin’s surface. Some methods, like using a silver polishing cloth or chemical dips, carry risks and are generally not recommended.

Milk spots are a common and persistent issue for silver coins. While efforts have been made to reduce their occurrence, they remain a topic of concern for both investors and collectors. Following the correct handling and storage of silver is essential to mitigate their impact, but there’s no definitive way to prevent or remove milk spots without potential damage.

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