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New high-tech gold bullion coins can be authenticated by moving them in light

The new edition Britannia coins go on sale from October 19 with new anti-counterfeit features including intricate designs.

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The Royal Mint has given details of the safety features of its new Britannia gold bullion coins (Royal Mint/PA)

The Royal Mint has given details of the safety features of its new Britannia gold bullion coins (Royal Mint/PA)

The Royal Mint has given details of the safety features of its new Britannia gold bullion coins (Royal Mint/PA)

The Royal Mint has unveiled new gold bullion coins which can be authenticated as genuine by moving them in the light.

The new edition Britannia coins go on sale from October 19 with new anti-counterfeit features, including intricate designs which make them very difficult to replicate.

Demand for gold has surged during the economic uncertainty over the past six months as investors look for “safe haven” assets.

The Royal Mint said it has seen website sales of gold Britannia coins increase by 236% from April to September when compared with the same period in 2019.

Customers can verify the new Britannia range by rotating the coins in the light.

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A Royal Mint employee examines a coin (Royal Mint/PA)

A Royal Mint employee examines a coin (Royal Mint/PA)

A Royal Mint employee examines a coin (Royal Mint/PA)

The features include:

– A latent image. First introduced on the £2 coin, the latent image acts like a hologram and changes from a padlock to a trident when the coin is seen from different angles.

– Surface animation. Micro details on the coin combine to create the illusion of waves rolling behind the figure of Britannia. These are created using advanced lasers.

– Micro-text. The inscription Decus et Tutamen, which translates to “an ornament and a safeguard”, surrounds the figure of Britannia, and is created using specialist lasers.

– Tincture lines depicting colours and patterns on metal.

The range includes a one-ounce gold bullion coin and half, quarter and tenth-ounce gold coins, as well as a one-ounce silver coin.

The coin prices will depend on changes in the gold price, and the Mint said exact pricing will be given when the coins are available to purchase in October.

It said the average paid for a Britannia coin since January is £1,483.

The Royal Mint was one of the first Mints in the world to use advanced picosecond lasers – used in medicine and aerospace – for the production of coins. This technology enables it to create complex designs using indents which are 200 times narrower than the width of a human hair.

The Mint said the tiny indents enable it to create spectacular effects – such as the movement of waves seen in the background of the Britannia coins.

Andrew Dickey, divisional director of precious metals for the Royal Mint, said: “Our Britannia bullion range is already one of the most sought after in the world, and these innovative new security features make it even more appealing for investors.

“Simply by moving the coin, you can authenticate it as a genuine Royal Mint product, giving investors complete confidence, whether they are buying directly from us or from our partners.”

Gordon Summers, chief engraver at the Royal Mint, said: “By focusing on the natural reflection of the metal, and using advanced new technology, we have created a unique and highly safe coin which gives customers complete confidence.”

PA