When you buy silver bullion coins, you usually have to be content with a silver purity of 99.9%. The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coins are however minted out of 99.99% fine silver which makes them stand out among the other popular silver bullion coins. The Royal Canadian Mint started minting the silver coins back in 1988. Already during the first few years of production, several million Silver Maple Leafs were sold. In recent years, annual mintage has exploded and set new records again.
The government of Canada guarantees the purity and weight of the Silver Maple Leaf coins. Apart from certain special sets which may include fractional coins, only the 1 oz denomination is offered. Individual 1 oz proof coins were also just offered in 1989. The standard brilliant uncirculated finish has been upgraded in 2014 though and includes radial lines from the coin's center as well as a micro-engraved laser mark since then. American buyers that are investing in silver for their retirements can include the coins in their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA's).
|Weight||Face Value||Purity||Diameter x Thickness|
|1 oz||CAD $ 5||99.99%||38 x 3.29 mm|
The silver version of the Canadian Maple Leaf coins features the same design as all the other Maple Leaf coins out of gold, platinum and palladium. The coins got their name from the intricately etched Canadian Maple Leaf that makes up most of the design on the reverse side. The coin's denomination and silver purity as well as the word “CANADA” is inscribed along the edge. Since 2014, the reverse also contains a small textured maple leaf that has the last two digits of the year of mintage laser-engraved on it. Radial lines engraved with micro precision on the surface of the coin are another security feature that was added in 2014.
The obverse side of the Canadian Maple Leafs features a portrait of the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II. When the Silver Maple Leaf was first issued, Arnold Machin's design depicted the Queen as a 39-year-old. In 1990, a switch to Dora de Pédery-Hunt's newer portrait of a 64-year-old Queen was made. The current obverse design by Susanna Blunt that depicts a 79-year-old Queen Elizabeth II was first used on the silver coins in 2004. "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 Canadian Silver Maple Leafs in 1988. There were no major design changes throughout the years with the exception of the Queen's portrait on the obverse that was twice updated to a newer version. The look of the coin changed a bit in 2014 when radial lines and a micro-engraved laser mark were introduced.
Various special editions of the Silver Canadian Maple Leaf were released throughout the years. For example, a 10 oz reverse proof Silver Maple Leaf coin was released in 1998 to mark the 10th anniversary of the silver coin series. Various privy marks were also used on the coins to mark certain events. There were also limited edition fractional sets, coloured coins and hologram coins in certain years.
Mintage figures for the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz silver coin vary widely between 100,970 coins (1997) and 29,245,000 coins (2014). Since 2005, there has been a veritable explosion in mintage numbers almost every year. In fact, 2012 was the only year that saw a slight contraction of mintage figures since then.
A proof version of the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coin was only minted in 1989. The about 30,000 coins that were minted sold out very quickly.
The Royal Canadian Mint produces the Canadian Gold Maple Leafs since 1979. The coins were minted out of 99.9% pure gold until 1981. Since then, they are 99.99% pure and some special editions of the coins are even minted out of 99.999% pure gold! The Canadian Maple Leaf gold coins that count among the most popular gold bullion coins worldwide are available with brilliant uncirculated and proof finishes in a wide range of denominations between 1 gram and 1 oz. Special security measures also make the coins extremely hard to counterfeit. These include micro-engraved radial lines as well as a textured maple leaf privy mark that has the last two digits of the year of mintage laser-engraved.
The Canadian Gold 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 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.
The Royal Canadian Mint started with the regular release of coloured Silver Maple Leafs in 2001. The four individual 1 oz coins that were issued those first four years together make up a series that is dedicated to the four seasons. The 2001 Autumn Coloured Silver Maple Leaf was minted 49,709 times, the 2002 Spring Coloured Silver Maple Leaf 29,509 times, the 2003 Summer Coloured Silver Maple Leaf 29,416 times and the 2004 Winter Coloured Silver Maple Leaf 26,763 times. Coloured 1 oz Silver Maple Leafs were also released in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Hologram Silver Maple Leafs out of 99.99% pure silver were issued in the years 2001 - 2003, 2005, 2007 and since 2011. The "Maple of Good Fortune" coins that were issued in 2001 and 2003 together with the 2005 "Maple of Hope" coin constitute the Chinese hologram series. The Royal Canadian Mint's advanced minting process strikes the hologram directly onto the surface of the coins. A 5-coin Silver Maple Leaf Hologram Set was issued in 2003 containing the 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz and 1/20 oz denominations.
total silver weight: 1.9 oz
5-coin sets that include the 99.99% pure reverse proof Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coins of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz and 1/20 oz were issued in 2014, 2015 and 2016. One of the two overlapping maple leaves on the five coins of the 2014 set was gilded (gold-plated). The 2015 set has the maple leaf design incused (sunk into; below the coin surface) into the frosted surrounding field. On the 1 oz coin, the maple leaf is filled with red translucent enamel. The five coins of the 2016 set had the maple leaf design as well as the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II plated with rose gold. Additionally, the 1 oz coin also had some yellow gold plating.
total silver weight: 1 oz
In 1998, the Royal Canadian Mint issued 25,000 of these 2-piece sets to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The set includes a limited edition 1 oz Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coin with the first ever privy mark for Canada by the Royal Canadian Mint. The coin has a numbered certificate of authenticity. The set comes packaged in an illustrated RCMP history booklet with a stamp souvenir sheet and a First Day cover.
total silver weight: 3 oz
This set that was issued 4,200 times is meant to commemorate the Allied soldiers sacrifices in World War II. All three included 1 oz Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coins (one dated 2004, the other two 2005) feature a special privy mark relating to that theme. The set includes a 2004 colorized quarter as a bonus. It is packaged in a leather case with a certificate of authenticity.
total silver weight: 1.9 oz
In order to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Canadian Maple Leaf silver coin, this 5-coin set containing the 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz and 1/20 oz proof coins was issued. The obverse of each coin displays the dual dates 1986 and 2013. The set comes packaged in a burgundy display box with a certificate of authenticity. A total of only 9,999 sets were issued worldwide.