Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins

gold coin icon Canada flag icon Canadian Gold Maple Leafs - Canada's flagship gold bullion coins

The Canadian Gold Maple Leafs count among the currently produced gold bullion coins with the longest history. The Royal Canadian Mint already started with their production in 1979. At first, the coins were minted out of 99.9% pure gold. Since 1982, the coins are 99.99% pure though and some special editions of the Canadian Maple Leaf gold coins are even 99.999% pure.

Canada guarantees the legal tender Gold Maple Leaf's weight and purity. When you buy gold in the form of these coins, you can choose from a wide range of denominations between 1 oz and 1 gram. Even though brilliant uncirculated and proof coins are the most common, coloured and hologram versions of the coins exist as well. Buyers that are investing in gold for their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA's) may include the coins therein. The high gold purity and wide range of available denominations makes the Gold Maple Leafs count among the most popular gold bullion coins worldwide.

Just like any other 24 karat gold coins, Canadian Maple Leaf coins are more susceptible to scratches and dents than for example the 22 karat American Gold Eagles. That problem with durability is exacerbated by the design and packaging of the Maple Leaf coins which makes them much less scratch resistant than the Austrian Gold Philharmonics which are also minted out of the softer 24 karat gold.

reverse side of the 2015 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz Canadian Gold Maple Leafs
obverse side of the 2015 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz Canadian Maple Leaf gold coins
reverse side of the 1 gram Canadian Gold Maple Leafs

Coin Specifications

Weight Face Value Purity Diameter x Thickness
1 oz CAD $ 50 99.99% 30 x 2.8 mm
1/2 oz CAD $ 20 99.99% 25 x 2.23 mm
1/4 oz CAD $ 10 99.99% 20 x 1.7 mm
1/10 oz CAD $ 5 99.99% 16 x 1.22 mm
1/15 oz CAD $ 2 99.99% 15 x 0.98 mm
1/20 oz CAD $ 1 99.99% 13.9 x 0.92 mm
1/25 oz CAD $ 0.5 99.99% 13.92 x ? mm
1 gram CAD $ 0.5 99.99% 8 x ? mm
the 100 kg Gold Maple Leaf coin
the 100 kg Gold Maple Leaf coin (reverse).

99.999% pure special issues

Weight Face Value Purity Diameter x Thickness
1 oz CAD $ 50 or
CAD $ 200 (since 2007)
99.999% 30 x 2.8 mm
100 kg CAD $ 1 million 99.999% 50 x 3 cm

Gold Maple Leaf Coin Design

As the name implies, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins feature an intricately etched Maple Leaf on their reverse side. “CANADA” is inscribed above the leaf and the coin's denomination and gold purity appear on the reverse as well. Since 2013, the reverse of 1 oz coins also contains a textured maple leaf design that has the last two digits of the year of mintage laser-engraved on it as a security feature that is meant to prevent counterfeiting. Radial lines engraved with micro precision on the surface of the coin are another security feature.

The obverse side of the Canadian Maple Leafs features a portrait of the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II. When the Gold Canadian Maple Leaf was first issued, the Queen was depicted as a 39-year-old. In 1990, the portrait was changed to that of the 64-year-old Queen and in 2005 to the current design that depicts the 79-year-old Queen Elizabeth II. "ELIZABETH II" is inscribed above her image and the coin's face value and year of mintage are inscribed below.

History of the Gold Maple Leafs

The Royal Canadian Mint started with the production of the Gold Maple Leaf coins in 1979. Until 1982, only the 1 oz coin was being issued out of 99.9% gold. In November 1982, the gold content was raised to 99.99%. Therefore, 1982 Gold Maple Leafs exist with both 99.9% as well as 99.99% gold purity. The 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz coins were added to the series that same year. The 1/2 oz coin was added to the series in 1986, the 1/20 oz coin in 1993 and the 1 gram coin in 2014. Only in 1994 were 1/15 oz coins produced as well (mintage: 5,446 coins).

The original design of the coin's obverse side featured a portrait of the 39-year-old Queen Elizabeth II. In 1990, the portrait was changed to that of the 64-year-old Queen and in 2005 to the current design that depicts the 79-year-old Queen Elizabeth II.

Special 1 oz editions of the Gold Maple Leaf coin with a face value of CAD $ 50 and 99.999% gold purity were produced in 2005. Such coins were produced again in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016, albeit with a raised face value of CAD $ 200.

A limited number of 99.999% pure 100 kg Gold Maple Leaf coins with a face value of 1 million Canadian Dollars (and a gold value then exceeding CAD $ 2 million) were produced in 2007.

The Royal Canadian Mint started producing coloured editions of the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf in 1999. Hologram Gold Maple Leafs were first produced in 1999 as well.

Various special editions of the Canadian Maple Leaf gold coin were also produced in anniversary years, for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, for special exhibitions and fairs and other special causes.

Mintage Numbers

Mintage figures for the 1 oz coin vary between 86,375 coins (2000) and 1,747,500 coins (1985). Besides the year 2000, annual mintage was lowest in the years 1994 (180,357 coins), 1996 (143,682 coins), 2001 (138,878 coins), 2003 (194,631 coins) and 2007 (189,462 coins).

The lowest annual mintage for fractional issues of the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin were the 3,890 coins of 1/20 oz that were produced in 2003. Only in 1994 were 5,446 coins of 1/15 oz minted.

reverse side of the 2017 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz Canadian Silver Maple Leafs
obverse side of the 2017 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz Canadian Maple Leaf silver coins

Canadian Silver Maple Leafs

The Canadian Maple Leaf coins are also produced out of silver since 1988. The legal tender coins with a face value of CAD $ 5 have the same design as the gold version of the coins. Whereas most other silver bullion coins are 99.9% pure, Canadian Silver Maple Leafs are minted out of 99.99% pure silver. That is a major reason why Silver Maple Leafs count among the most popular silver bullion coins worldwide. Only one denomination of 1 oz is offered by the Royal Canadian Mint for now. The standard brilliant uncirculated finish has been upgraded in 2014 and includes radial lines from the coin's center as well as a micro-engraved laser mark since then.

The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf page gives more information about the coins and allows you to compare current prices.

reverse side of the 2017 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz Canadian Platinum Maple Leafs
obverse side of the 2017 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz Canadian Maple Leaf platinum coins

Canadian Platinum Maple Leafs

The Royal Canadian Mint produced the 99.95% fine Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf coins from 1988 - 1999 and in 2002 in the denominations of 1 oz (face value CAD $ 50), 1/2 oz (CAD $ 20), 1/4 oz (CAD $ 10), 1/10 oz (CAD $ 5) and 1/20 oz (minted since 1993, CAD $ 1). Only in 1994 was a 1/15 oz coin (CAD $ 2) produced as well. The Canadian Platinum Maple Leafs made a comeback in 2009 but are since then only produced in the 1 oz denomination with brilliant uncirculated and proof (including reverse proof) finishes. They were the world's best selling platinum coins in 2012. Radial lines and a micro-engraved privy mark were introduced as counterfeiting measures in 2015.

The Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf page gives more information about the coins and allows you to compare current prices.

reverse side of the 2015 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz Canadian Palladium Maple Leafs
obverse side of the 2015 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz Canadian Maple Leaf palladium coins

Canadian Palladium Maple Leafs

The 99.95% fine Canadian Palladium Maple Leafs were the first palladium coins ever minted by the Royal Canadian Mint and the world's first regularly issued palladium bullion coins. The coins were first minted in November 2005 and production continued uninterrupted until 2007. After that, Palladium Maple Leaf coins were again minted in 2009 and 2015. That last year also saw the introduction of two new security features, radial lines as well as a special privy mark with the laser-engraved year of mintage. These features were implemented to prevent counterfeiting. The coins are only available with a brilliant uncirculated finish in the single available denomination of 1 oz. Their official face value is CAD $ 50 and they have legal tender status in Canada.

The Canadian Palladium Maple Leaf page gives more information about the coins and allows you to compare current prices.

Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin Sets / Special Issues

2015 Alluring Maple Leaves of Fall coloured Gold Maple Leaf

Coloured Gold Maple Leaf

Purity: 99.99% (24 karat gold)

The Royal Canadian Mint first issued coloured Gold Maple Leafs in a limited edition 5-coin set in 1999. The set with a mintage of 500 included the coins in the denominations of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz and 1/20 oz. Coloured Gold Maple Leafs were again issued in 2010 for the Vancouver Olympics in a set of 3 x 1 oz coins. Threehundred sets entitled "Alluring Maple Leaves of Fall" that contained 3 x 1 oz coloured proof coins were next issued in 2015. The following year 2016 saw the mint's first issue of ten coloured proof coins of 1 kg each under the title "Maple Leaf Forever".

1 kg Maple Leaf Forever Hologram gold coin 2015

Hologram Canadian Maple Leaf

Purity: 99.99% (24 karat gold)

Hologram Gold Maple Leafs were first issued in 1999 in a 5-coin set. The set with a mintage of 500 pieces included the Hologram Maple Leafs in the denominations of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz and 1/20 oz. A 5-coin Hologram Gold Maple Leaf set with the same denominations was issued again in 2001 (mintage of 600 sets). A separate 1/4 oz Hologram gold coin was issued 14,600 times in the same year, but with a different motif than the coins in the set. A 4-coin Hologram set (1 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, 1/20 oz) was issued 750 times for the 30th Anniversary of the Gold Maple Leaf in 2009. Finally, ten pieces of a 1 kg Hologram Gold Maple Leaf coin with the title "Maple Leaf Forever" were issued in 2015. These 10 coins with a face value of CAD $ 2,500 were the largest coins ever with a hologram and the first coins ever where the hologram was placed over an engraved surface.

1989 10th Anniversary 4-Gold-Coin Canadian Maple Leaf Proof Set

10th Anniversary Maple Leaf Proof Set 1989

total gold weight: 1.85 oz

This set was issued in 1989 in order to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Canadian Maple Leaf coin series. It includes the proof Gold Maple Leafs in the denominations of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz. The set is packaged in a beautiful wooden box and includes a certificate of authenticity.

2001 5-Coin Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Set with Viking Heritage privy mark

Gold Maple Leaf Viking Heritage Set 2001

total gold weight: 1.9 oz

This set was issued in 2001 and includes the reverse proof Gold Maple Leafs in the denominations of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz and 1/20 oz. The unique feature of these 5 coins is the Viking Heritage privy mark (looks like a historic Viking longboat) that appears on the coins' reverse side.

2004 6-Coin bimetallic Gold Canadian Maple Leaf Set

Maple Leaf Bimetallic Set 2004

total gold weight: 1.94 oz

This set was issued in 2004 in order to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Gold Maple Leaf. It includes the 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, 1/20 oz and 1/25 oz (for the very first time) coins. Each full-weight gold coin is set inside a silver ring (99.99% fine silver). The coins are double dated 1979-2004.