Maple Leaf - the investment coin with the world's largest circulation
The Maple Leaf gold coin is minted in Canada and is the investment coin with the world's largest circulation. It has been minted since 1979 and is thus – after the "South African Krugerrand" – the second oldest investment coin in the world. Incidentally, the Maple Leaf is also available in platinum, silver and even palladium.
The gold content of the Maple Leaf
Pure gold is very soft and neither scratch-resistant nor immune to abrasion. It is for this reason that gold coins of early alloy metals are mixed, e.g. with copper. Since gold coins are no longer used as a method of payment these days, but are mostly stored securely in a safe, use of an alloy is unnecessary. The Royal Canadian Mint, which is based in Ottawa, undertook the first minting of a 24 carat golden investor's coin in 1982, boasting a gold content of 99.9%. The minting office increased the gold value to 99.99% in 1983. This value (4 x 9) is now the standard.
The coin motif
The front side of the Maple Leaf gold coin features a maple leaf, to which the coin owes its name. Precisely speaking, it is the leaf of a sugar maple. As is the case with the Canadian flag, the leaf is not simplified, but shown in detail. You can even see the leaf veins on closer inspection. The sugar maple is the national symbol of Canada and is widespread not only there, but also cross much of North-East America. It provides valuable timber as well as maple syrup.
Reference is made to the minting country of Canada above the coin motif. Information about the fineness, fine weight as well as the metal type is also included in both English and French. The rear side of the coin features the portrait of the reigning Head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II., which is sophisticatedly updated periodically. The Canadian face value and the year of minting can also be found on the rear side.
Special imprinting of the Maple Leaf gold coin
While the Maple Leaf made of gold only came into circulation as a 1 ounce version to begin with (1979), further coin sizes have followed in subsequent years. As a last step, the Royal Canadian Mint brought out special editions with an extra-embossed mark (privy mark), in addition to a proof version, as well as special imprints for certain occasions, e.g. the Olympic Winter Games.
The largest gold coin in the world
The highlight in the history of the Maple Leaf gold coin to date is the 100 kg coin from 2007, the face value of which is worth a phenomenal 1 million Canadian dollars, so around 750,000 Euro. It is the largest gold coin worldwide. The record-breaking special edition has a slightly modified design and a fine content of 99.999%. Due to the large demand for the 1 ounce gold coins with such a high fineness, the 5 x 9 maple leaf , the "Super Maple", was re-issued in 2008 and 2009, as well as most recently in 2012.
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At a glance:
Name: Maple Leaf gold coin
Manufacturer: Royal Canadian Mint
Year of minting: 1979 till today
Fineness: 999.9/1000 Gold (99.9% Gold), in the first 3 years of minting 999/1000 Gold
Face value: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 CAD (Canadian Dollar)
Type: Investment coin made of gold