The Canadian old Maple Leaf coin was produced in 1979 by the Royal Canadian Mint. It is Canada’s official gold bullion coin, and is considered to be one of the purest gold coins on the market, containing no alloys. Walter Ott is recognized as the original designer. The coin was conceived when only the South African gold Krugerrand was in existence. The bullion used in the coin’s manufacture at the time came exclusively from Canadian mines and served to boost the mining community by demonstrating its pure content and quality. To this day the Canadian gold Maple Leaf coin is one of the most popular coins in the world.
Size, Purity and Denominations
Weight variations of the Maple Leaf coin begin at 1/25 oz., then escalate in weight to 1/20 oz., 1/10 oz., ¼ oz., ½ oz., up to the full the 1 oz. denomination. Regardless of denomination, all the coins have identical designs and features. The legal tender face values are $1, $5, $10, $20 and $50. The troy ounce guarantee states that they consist of .999 fine 24-carat gold for the coins struck between 1979 and 1982. Thereafter the grade was upgraded to .9999 fine. A 1/15 oz. gold and platinum version was minted in 1994 with a $2.00 face value. Another version beginning in 1988 was struck in fine platinum with a .9995 grade, and it retains the same face value and weight of the gold coins.
Description and Features
The design of the gold Maple Leaf coin has remained the same since its conception and first minting. The obverse side, designed by Arnold Machin, shows a bust of Queen Elizabeth II in profile, along with her name on the upper periphery and the value amount below. The reverse side shows the etching of a single Canadian maple leaf, which represents Canada’s national symbol. The words, “FINE GOLD”, .9999 and the ounce weight adorn the lower half of the coin, while the country of origin, Canada, occupies the top half.
Price and Value
The value of the Canadian Maple Leaf gold coin is determined by its current intrinsic value in relation to the cost of gold in the ounce denominations. These are face values. There are special editions like the two hundred dollar coin, minted in 2008, that has an issue price of $1,394.64, and the 1999 GML hologram set that is priced at $1,995.00. May 2007 brought the introduction of the finely crafted million-dollar gold Maple Leaf coin. It has a 50 millimeter diameter and measures 3 centimeters in thickness. It weighs 100 kilograms and boasts 99.999 pure gold. The million-dollar coin is a coveted collectors piece, containing a purity and fineness not found in any other country’s inventory.
The most up-to-date, specific values on the Canadian gold Maple Leaf coin are available at coin dealerships, and dealership listings on internet websites. Two excellent references include James Haxby’s A Guide Book of Canadian Coins, and Charlton’s Canadian Coins Price Guide—Collector and Maple Leaf Issues.