Blog History of the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf

History of the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf

After taking a look at the stories behind America’s iconic Buffalo Gold Coin we’re now turning our attention to Canada’s Gold Maple Leaf!

The Gold Maple Leaf

If author Ian Fleming had made his character Auric Goldfinger a modest numismatist instead of an evil arch-villain, Goldfinger would have been obsessed with Canada’s Gold Maple Leaf coin… and for good reason. Of the various offerings in globally minted gold bullion coinage, Gold Maple Leaf coins are known for their unrivaled purity of .9999 millesimal fineness. (Note: some special edition Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins have been issued with gold purity levels of .99999). Such near-perfect quality has made the Gold Maple Leaf one of the most valued and collected precious metal coins since its inception in 1979.

gold maple leaf 

The Golden Pride of Canada

Produced by the Royal Canadian Mint, the Gold Maple Leaf was originally brainstormed by Walter Ott as an alternative gold bullion coin to the South African Krugerrand. Ott’s minted vision was to quickly become the world’s purest, and most popular gold coin, as well as Canada’s golden pride. The Gold Maple Leaf’s purity notwithstanding, its most notable feature is the understated design it has consistently showcased for over three decades.

gold maple leaf 2 

Featuring the profile of Queen Elizabeth II (with mint date and monetary face value) on the obverse, contrasted by a Canadian Maple Leaf image on the reverse, the Gold Maple Leaf currently enjoys five minted denominations: 1/20 Troy Ounce ($1 Canada face value); 1/10 Troy Ounce ($5 Canada face value); 1/4 Troy Ounce ($10 Canada face value); 1/2 Troy Ounce ($20 Canada face value); 1 Troy Ounce ($50 Canada face value). In 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint issued a record-setting Gold Maple Leaf coin that weighed in at 100 kg (3,215 Troy Ounces!) with a face value of $1 million. This ultimate Gold Maple Leaf was quickly certified by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the world’s largest gold coin.

For a coin as appealing as the Gold Maple Leaf, a small historical misstep can be forgiven. In 1994, a 1/15 Troy Ounce minting was offered to the public, however, the new size was not embraced by collectors as expected, and it was relegated to just a single year mintage.

A Coveted Canadian Coin

To date, the Gold Maple Leaf continues to be an outstanding investment grade bullion coin, coveted by collecting aficionados and keen investors alike. Aesthetically and value-wise, Gold Maple Leaf coins represent the finest examples of gold bullion currency, and trade on the open market accordingly. Whether purchased as a hedge against inflation, or simply as an addition to one’s existing coin collection, the Gold Maple Leaf’s exceptional purity is what sets it apart from other gold bullion coinage.

If you’re an international gold buyer or coin collector, go to Garfield Refining’s online store to see the Gold Maple Leaf, and other rare choices from China and South Africa.