The Maple Leaf gold coins, issued by the Royal Canadian Mint, are amongst the finest gold coins available with 999.9/1,000 purity. They are recognised for the high quality of their design and are made from soft gold from Canada, which makes them very beautiful but also fragile. They should be handled with great care and left in a safe, well protected from manipulation.
The Maple Leaf 1oz Gold Coin: a Royal Canadian Mint Bestseller
The 1oz Maple Leaf coin is legal tender and has a $50 (CAD) face value. It’s been popular with investors ever since it was issued for the first time in 1979. Interestingly, the Royal Canadian Mint has also struck special editions of its 1oz Maple Leaf gold coin containing 999.99999/1,000 of gold, which is equivalent to gold’s natural state.
The 1oz Maple Leaf coin is appreciated not only by investors, but also by collectors. Right from its creation, it overshadowed the Krugerrand, the South African coin. Due to the fineness and the amount of gold in the Maple Leaf being guaranteed by the Canadian government, buyers came in droves and gave the coin its bullion status. The Krugerrand, then the sole player on the international market for investment gold coins, was also suffering from boycotts led by several countries to retaliate against apartheid in South Africa at the time.
Obverse and Reverse of the Maple Leaf Coin
The obverse of the Maple Leaf coin shows a full bust of Queen Elizabeth II and the reverse shows a maple leaf. The reverse also shows the name of the country, the purity of the gold and its weight. It is to be noted that the side of the coin is fluted. Since the Canadian coin is made of very fine gold, it should not be handled manually for a long time. Otherwise it could degrade rapidly and thus lose some value when reselling. Its natural place is in a bank’s vault, or better yet with a specialised firm in precious metals storage.
Following the success with the Maple Leaf, the Royal Canadian Mint has been minting other types of coins in limited editions. There are Maple Leaf coins weighing as much as 100 kilograms, but also small models weighing only 1/15oz. Also, compared to the competition, Maple Leaf coins carry a smaller premium. Their price is dictated by the variations in the gold market. If gold loses value in the market, so does the Maple Leaf coin, contrary to, for example, the American Eagle. A 10% premium is considered high for the sale of the Maple Leaf. On average, the premium is around 5% or 6%. And, lastly, the mint also produces Maple Leaf silver coins.
The Royal Canadian Mint has been producing Maple Leaf coins since the end of the 1970’s. The early success was continued thereafter, because the world has been facing many crises, encouraging investors to turn to assets that are considered the safest, essentially gold and silver. But above and beyond all that, what has made the Maple Leaf coins extremely popular with investors is the fineness level and quality of design proposed by the Royal Canadian Mint.
Obverse: Queen Elizabeth II profile
Reverse: Maple leaf
Fine weight: 1 ounce (31.1035gr)
strong>Legal Tender Value: 50$ CAD
Minted since 1979
The obverse of the coin shows a profile of Queen Elizabeth II, circled by her name and the coin’s nominal value.
The maple leaf is on the reverse of the coin. Canada’s symbol is surrounded by “Canada”, the coin’s weight and the gold fineness.
The premium on the Maple Leaf coin is, generally, much lower than for other coins that are not produced anymore, such as the French Napoléon or the British Old Sovereign.
Maple Leaf gold coins are available in 1/20oz, 1/10oz, 1/4oz, 1/2oz and 1oz weights. Although these coins are legal tender with face values, these amounts, between $1 (1/20oz coin) and $50 (1oz) are purely symbolical. These gold coins are worth a lot more than their nominal values. As an aside, the Maple Leaf gold coins weighing less than an ounce generally attract jewellers and collectors. The real investment coin is mainly the 1oz gold coin. Less than three years after the Royal Canadian Mint issued the coin, several millions were bought around the world.