Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coins

Investing in Gold With Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coins

Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coins
Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coins. Getty Images

Introduced to the world markets in 1979, and manufactured by The Royal Canadian Mint, Canadian gold maple leaf coins are guaranteed in purity by the Canadian Government and serve as the official gold bullion coin of the nation. The gold bullion in each Canadian gold maple leaf coin comes from gold mines within Canada. 

Canadian gold maple leaf coins were introduced as a result of the efforts of a man named Walter Ott, who wanted to provide a gold bullion coin alternative to the South African Krugerrand, which was relatively scarce as civilized countries had enacted boycotts against the apartheid policies of the time.

 

Gold Content and Purity of Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coins

Canadian gold maple leaf coins are the purest standard issue gold bullion coin from any Government with .9999 millesimal fineness, or pure 24 karat gold, although some Canadian gold maple leaf coins have been issued in special editions with .99999 gold purity. What that means is that the coins contain virtually no other base metals, being 24 parts pure gold out of 24 parts. Compared to the American Eagle gold bullion coins, which are 22 karat gold (meaning 22 parts pure gold 2 parts silver and copper, or 91.6% purity), this results in Canadian gold maple leaf coins being considerably softer and more susceptible to show wear and tear. This is a little or meaningless concern for those who hold these coins for their bullion value with the intent of profiting off a rise in the spot price of gold.

Denomination and Legal Tender Status of Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coins

The Canadian gold maple leaf coins all have legal tender value and can be used as regular currency within the country.

Of course, the value of the gold bullion within the coin far exceeds the face value of the coins so they trade based upon the current spot price of gold and not the value assigned by the government.

Canadian gold maple leaf coins come in several denominations and sizes, including:

  • 1 Troy Ounce Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin
    Face Value of $50 Canada – 33 mm diameter with 2.87 mm thickness
  • 1/2 Troy Ounce Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin
    Face Value of $20 Canada – 25 mm diameter with 2.20 mm thickness
  • 1/4 Troy Ounce Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin
    Face Value of $10 Canada – 20 mm diameter with 1.79 mm thickness
  • 1/10 Troy Ounce Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin
    Face Value of $5 Canada – 16 mm diameter with 1.13 mm thickness
  • 1/20 Troy Ounce Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin
    Face Value of $1 Canada – 14 mm diameter with 0.92 mm thickness

Special Edition 100 Kilogram Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coins

In addition, the Royal Canadian Mint released an extremely limited edition Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin containing 100 kilograms of 99.999% pure gold with a face value of $1,000,000. That is the equivalent of 3,215 Troy Ounce of gold, which, as of the spot price of gold at the writing of this article, would result in a meltdown value of nearly $3,000,000 alone. Still, the face value provides downside protection in the event gold crashes, with a built-in legal tender value of $320 per Troy Ounce in Canadian dollars.

Liquidity of Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coins

Traditionally, Canadian gold maple leaf coins enjoy highly liquid markets, especially in period of soaring demand for gold bullion and coins.

Dealers will often purchase coins at a few percentage points below the spot price of gold and, likewise, sell them a few percentage points above to ensure their profit.

To learn more, read Guide to Investing in Gold Coins.