The world standard for gold purity is on the rise.

The Royal Canadian Mint has issued its first five nines gold coin, the largest coin with this high level of purity ever issued. Numerous months of extensive testing of several alternative processes for the production of five nines gold by a team of engineers, chemists and refiners were required. One of the challenges faced by the team was the chemical analysis of such high-purity gold. Analytical methods were developed to quantify impurity elements by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (elements are separated and measured based on the mass of ionized atoms) and by inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometry (elements are measured based on the light emitted from the material).

The new coin has a face value of S350. Designed by Canadian artist, Pierre Leduc, it depicts the flowers of the Coat of Arms of Canada: the English Rose, the Scottish Thistle, the Irish Shamrock and the French Fleur­ de-Lis. The obverse of the coin shows an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Dora de Pedery- Hunt surrounded by the inscription "Elizabeth II Canada D.G. Regina Fine Gold 350 Dollars Or Pur," with the year of issue to the left of the Queen and .99999 to the right.