Maple Leaf 1oz Gold and The Ringer - User's Report

June 16, 2018

916 fine or 22 karat coins such as the American Eagle, Krugerrand, Mexican 50 Pesos, US $10 & $20, 100 Corona, Britannia (1987-2012) give a very distinctive ring. 999 fine or 24 karat coins like the Maple Leaf & Philharmonic, give a less 
distinct, but still discernible ring. After the thud of the hammer on the coin, you can hear a soft ring. A tungsten fake gives no ring whatsoever. On the Fisch Family pages there is a comparison of the rings of a genuine Maple Leaf coin and a tungsten counterfeit (as well as genuine and fake silver 

On the same Fisch Family pages, there are also pictures of genuine American Eagle, Krugerrand & Maple Leaf gold coins alongside tungsten based counterfeits (as well as genuine and fake silver coins.) These pictures are important tools in detecting fake coins: The tungsten fakes, due to the manufacturing method used, do not have the definition, or detail, of a genuine coin.

There has been feedback from users that some mintage years of the Maple Leaf 1oz gold coin do not ring when rung by a Ringer. I have not tested a sufficient number of coins to personally confirm this but have no reason to doubt it.

In the interest of trying to give users as much information as possible I am sharing the user's information and a possible reason for this.

Report #1
I wish customer would have left theses but I was brought ten 1980 .999 maples leafs gold. Five had proof like for the figure head and five did not. The five that did not proof like portrait but more a BU look had a tiny ring to it using the ringer. The 
others had no ring. All measured correct and all passed the Fisch device. I'm a dealer and they all looked good to me. I only used the ringer since I just received it from you. Any thoughts? 

Report #2
I have a total of 56 Canadian Maple Leafs collected over the last ten years or so, all from reputable dealers.  I methodically tested every single one of them tonight with your fisch instruments.  Below are the results:

1) All 56 1 oz canadian gold maple leafs pass the wallet test for both thickness, diameter and weight.

2) Below are the results of the RINGER on all 56 gold maple leaf coins:

1979 - 2 coins - NO RING AT ALL
1980 - 3 coins - 2 NO RING AT ALL,  1 WITH A SUBTLE RING
1983 - 1 coin - SUBTLE RINGS
1985 - 5 coins - NO RING AT ALL
2001 - 1 coin - NO RING AT ALL
2006 - 1 coin - NO RING AT ALL
2008 - 8 coins - NO RING AT ALL
2010 - 1 coin - SUBTLE RING
2011 - 34 coins - SUBTLE RING

Out of the 56 Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins I tested,  19 of then DO NOT RING AT ALL.

I have also purchased 40x and 60x jewelry microscopes and analyzed the markings on the coins to the best of my ability.  

There is nothing on the coins that do not ring that tells me that they are obvious fakes.

Then another email from the same user:
Just FYI, I have also recently acquired and tested a 2016 Gold Canadian Maple Leaf from eBay from a company called APMEX.

It passes all wallet tests and subtly rings.

Possible Explanation 
We have not managed to get a conclusive answer on this. 

The only explanation is that which was raised in the investigation of the Silver Towne rounds (see below), namely micro cracks in the surface of the coin. These cracks could interfere with the ringing.  A cracked bell won't ring.  

We tried different positions of the coin in the Ringer. It is important that the coin sits flat when held in the arms. And is held tightly.  We did notice that it is easier to get the coin to sit flat if the Maple Leaf side of the coin is at the top. Also that holding the Ringer up to the ear immediately on ringing helps to hear the ring. 

I have a report of 10 x 1980 Maple Leafs; 5 described as having a proof-like look and 5 more BU.  The BU coins had a ring, the proof-like not. All passed the Fisch tests of size and weight.  You report that 2 of your 3 x 1980's had no ring; one did. If you have the coins on hand, it would be interesting if you can confirm the difference in appearance. 

I have today received an email from a user saying that both his 2014 and 2016 coins produce a ring. Like you report on your 2016 coin. But the 2016 were oversize in diameter. This has also been noted in some 2009 coins. See the report in the Fisch Family pages. 

Perhaps over time we will get more information and be able to come up with a conclusive answer. Thanks very much for your feedback.  Can I have your permission to quote some of your findings in the Fisch Family pages?  Of course, your name or location will not be disclosed.

The report on the Silvertowne rounds:

A batch of 2015 Buffalo Nickel style one ounce silver rounds produced and sold by Silvertowne LP, both on their website and through eBay, produced inconsistent results with the PMV.  Several buyers reported some rounds reading as  expected and others reading 1-3 blocks to the right of the brackets on the 99.9% silver setting, often having a mix of results from rounds received in the same tube.  An independent assay of one of the rounds reading furthest outside the brackets (3 blocks to the right) showed .999+ 
silver content.  

Sigma Metalytics cited micro-cracks on the surface of the rounds as one possible reason for the inconsistent results.  At the time of the issue Silvertowne had been selling a very large volume of the rounds at very low premiums through eBay promotions, and it was thought that the annealing 
process may have been abbreviated or omitted to speed up production, resulting in harder silver blanks that could crack during the minting process.  

Silvertowne was not able to provide a complete explanation as to the reason for the inconsistent PMV readings, but did accept returns from concerned customers and the integrity of the rounds in question was confirmed by the independent third party assay.

In summary, there is a possibility that if a Maple Leaf 1oz gold does not ring, it is a tungsten fake. Compare the coin with the pictures of the fake in the Fisch Family pages.

The way forward: Given the clear ring of 916 fine or 22 karat coins such as the American Eagle, Krugerrand, Mexican 50 Pesos, US $10 & $20, 100 Corona, Britannia (1987-2012), a strong argument can be made for buying and/or trading in these coins.  Or, be cautious and buy only coins minted in 2013 and later as these should be much harder to counterfeit successfully (see below). However, still avoid a coin that does not ring. 

In 2013 and 2015 new security features were introduced. In 2013, a laser-micro-engraved textured maple leaf was added on a small area of the reverse (Maple Leaf) side of the coin.  In the centre of this mark is the numeral denoting the coin’s year of issue, which is only visible under magnification. In 2015, the radial lines on the coin's background on both sides of the coin were added.