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.
|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|
As the name implies, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins feature an intricately etched Maple Leaf on their reverse side. The word "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.
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 by the artist Susanna Bluntthat 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 most years from 2007 on albeit with a raised face value of CAD $ 200.
For the 30th Anniversary of the Silver Maple Leaf in 2018, a total of 500 reverse proof 99.999% pure Gold Maple Leafs were issued that had their Maple Leaf design on the reverse side platinum-plated. Selective platinum plating was also used on one of the two 99.999% pure 1 oz coins that are included in the special "Enchanting Maple Leaves" coin set that was issued 175 times in 2018.
A total of only six 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. In 2017, one of these gigantic coins was stolen while on exposition at the Bode Museum in Berlin (Germany) and has never been recovered. Just recently in March 2020, the mint announced the issue of a total of ten 99.999% pure 10 kg Gold Maple Leaf coins of which five were already sold.
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 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.
The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coins are minted by the Royal Canadian Mint since 1988. The legal tender coins with a face value of CAD $ 5 have the same design as the gold version of the coins. Silver Maple Leafs are minted out of 99.99% pure silver whereas most other silver bullion coins are 'only' 99.9% pure. That is a major reason why the coins count among the most popular silver 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.
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 Platinum Canadian 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.
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, 2015 and 2017. Radial lines as well as a special privy mark with the laser-engraved year of mintage were introduced as two new security features in 2015. These features were implemented to prevent counterfeiting. The coins are only available with a brilliant uncirculated finish in the single available size 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.
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.
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.
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.