Bullion Coins: Canadian Gold Maple Leaf
The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf is the official bullion gold coin of Canada, and is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. The brainchild of Walter Ott, it is one of the purest gold regular-issue coins in the world with a gold content of .9999 millesimal fineness (24 carats), with some special issues .99999 fine. That is, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf contains virtually no base metals at all—only gold, from mines in Canada.
The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf was introduced in 1979. At the time the only bullion coin was the Krugerrand, which was not widely available because of the economic boycott of apartheid-era South Africa. Coins minted between 1979 and 1982 have a gold content of .999.
The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin is offered in 1⁄20 oz, 1⁄10 oz, 1⁄4 oz, 1⁄2 oz, and 1 oz denominations and is guaranteed to contain the stated amount (in troy ounces) of .9999 fine gold (24- carat). The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins have legal tender status in Canada for their face values ($1, $5, $10, $20 and $50), subject to the Canadian Currency Act and the Royal Canadian Mint Act. Although categorized as “non-circulating bullion coins” in the Mint Act, these coins are still legal tender under the Currency Act.
The 1⁄20, 1⁄10, 1⁄4, and 1⁄2 troy ounce Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins are identical in design to the one-troy-ounce coin, except for markings on the obverse and reverse sides indicating the weight and face value of the coin. In 1994 1⁄15 oz ($2.00 face value) gold and platinum Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins were issued, possibly for use in jewelry. They were not very popular, and 1994 remains the only year in which 1⁄15 oz gold and platinum bullion coins were produced.
Starting in 1988 Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins have also been struck in .9995-fine platinum, having the same weights and face values as the gold coins. Since 1988, a one-ounce .9999-fine silver Maple Leaf has also been struck, with a face value of $5. In 2005, a .9995-fine palladium Maple Leaf 1 oz coin was introduced, with a face value of $50. This palladium coin is subject to the federal Goods and Services Tax in Canada.
On May 3, 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint unveiled a Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin with a face value of $1 million, though the gold content was worth over $2 million at the time. It measures 50 cm in diameter by 3 cm thick and has a mass of 100 kg, with a purity of 99.999%. The artist is Stanley Witten. The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin is mainly a promotional product, to give the mint a higher international profile. The hundred-kilogram coin was conceived as a one-off showpiece to promote the mint’s new line of 99.999-percent-pure one-ounce Gold Maple Leaf bullion coins, but after several interested buyers came forward the mint announced it would manufacture them as ordered and sell them for between $2.5 and $3 million. As of May 3, 2007 there were five confirmed orders.
Current Prices (informational only)
1 Oz Canadian Gold Maple Leaf – $1,353.80
1/2 Oz Canadian Gold Maple Leaf – $676.90
1/4 Oz Canadian Gold Maple Leaf – $338.45
1/10 Oz Canadian Gold Maple Leaf – $135.38
1/20 Oz Canadian Gold Maple Leaf – $67.69
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