Gold Maple Leafs

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A gold bullion coin issued each year by the Government of Canada, the Canadian Maple Leaf Gold coin is one of the world's most popular coins. [1] It's available in 1/20-ounce, 1/10-ounce, 1/4-ounce, 1/2-ounce and 1-ounce denominations. It is the official bullion gold coin of Canada and one of the purest gold bullion coins in the world with a purity level of 0.9999.

The Canadian Maple Leaf Gold coin is legal tender in several denominations, although the price of the Gold Maple Leaf coin varies depending on the price of gold. Due to its 24-karat nature, the coin is among the purest official bullion coins in the world.

The coin's purity and metal content is guaranteed by the Government of Canada. The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin's price is lower than the U.S. counterpart of the American Eagle. It's accepted in worldwide business markets. Because of this, the Canadian gold coin's value makes it one of the most sought-after gold bullion investment coins.


The Gold Maple Leaf coin was introduced in 1979 only as the 1-ounce denomination for CA$50. It stayed this way until November 1982 when the 1/4-ounce and 1/10-ounce denominations were added.

The Canadian Maple Leaf coin was one of the first coins in the world to compete with the South African Krugerrand in terms of gold bullion demand. Other than the Krugerrand, no other gold coin had been offered only for investment purposes. The Krugerrand was in short supply because of a boycott in South Africa due to its apartheid policies.

To deal with the increasing demand for gold bullion, Canada sought to encourage the gold-mining industry in the country. The gold used for these coins comes from Canadian gold mines or the gold reserve of the government of Canada. These bullion coins have legal tender status in Canada thanks to the Currency Act.

Coin Production

The Royal Canadian Mint strikes bullion and proof versions annually, with the Canadian Maple Leaf gold coin produced at the Mint's Ottawa facility. It's the only one in the world that strikes coins from 99.9999% pure gold.

The popularity of the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin's price has grown exponentially over the years, so much so that the Royal Canadian Mint has launched several varieties of the coin. Several examples include the following:

  • 1989: 10th-anniversary coin
  • 1997: 125th-anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mint
  • 1999: 20th-anniversary coin and Colorized Gold Maple Leaf
  • 1999, 2001, and 2009: Hologram Gold Maple Leaf coins
  • 2004: 25th-anniversary coin
  • 2010: Colorized Gold Maple Leaf to celebrate the Vancouver Winter Olympics

Metal Content

When the Canadian Maple Leaf gold coin debuted, it had a 0.999 pure gold content. In November 1982, the coins began to have 0.9999 pure gold content. There have even been instances where the coins have 0.99999 pure gold content. This signifies that the coin contains virtually no base metals at all, only gold from Canadian mines. This enhances the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin's price.


The Canadian government guarantees the weight, content and purity of all gold bullion coins, including the gold coin price of the Canadian Maple Leaf. As a result, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf value is strong in worldwide investment markets.

Because there are different weights and sizes of the Canadian Maple Leaf Gold coin, they have different face values ranging from $1 to $50. Many people advise against using these coins for their face value, as their gold content makes their actual value much higher. Bullion coins are almost never used for transactional purposes because their face value is much smaller than their intrinsic value.

The Canadian Maple Leaf Gold coin price today depends on their weight in ounces, and their face value is as follows:

  • 1/20 ounce: $1
  • 1/10 ounce: $5
  • 1/4 ounce: $10
  • 1/2 ounce: $20
  • 1 ounce: $50

There was a 1/15-ounce coin issued in 1994 with a face value of $2, but it was discontinued due to a lack of interest.

The actual price of Canadian gold coins depends on the market price of gold. Since the price of gold fluctuates daily, the value of bullion investments also fluctuates daily, along with the Gold Canadian Maple Leaf price.


The Canadian Maple Leaf Gold coin was a creation of Walter Ott, who was a master engraver at the mint. The obverse of all Canadian Maple Leaf coins, no matter if they're struck in gold, silverplatinum or palladium, have the right-profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. In the portrait, you can see her wearing a pearl necklace and an earring. The inscription 'ELIZABETH II' is found above her portrait, with the face value and year of mintage below.

With the Gold Canadian Maple Leaf coin, there have been three different images of Her Majesty:

  • 1979 to 1989: The image of Queen Elizabeth II at age 39
  • 1990 to 2004: A depiction of Queen Elizabeth II at age 64
  • 2005 to present: Portrait artist Susanna Blunt's depiction of Queen Elizabeth II at age 79

The reverse of all Canadian Maple Leaf coins has an image of a sugar maple leaf, which is Canada's official national symbol. This image has never changed since its debut in 1979. The top inscription reads 'CANADA' and the bottom inscription has the weight denomination. For instance, the 1-ounce coin states 'FINE GOLD 1OZ OR PUR.' The purity mark is on both sides of the maple leaf.

In 2013 and 2015, the mint added new security features including a small textured maple leaf on the maple leaf side of the coin. In the center of this mark is the number denoting the coin's year of issue, but you can only view this under magnification. In 2015, the mint added radial lines to the coin's background on both sides.

The Royal Canadian Mint honors the Canadian maple leaf in one of the most iconic ways: through a Canadian Maple Gold Leaf coin. Based on its recognizability, high liquidity and low cost, the value of the Canadian Maple Leaf Gold coin remains a solid choice if you're purchasing it for a collection or investment. Some of its special issues and editions also increase the value of the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin.

1. Federal Trade Commission. 'Investing in Bullion and Bullion Coins,' https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0135-investing-bullion-and-bullion-coins. Accessed September 18, 2020.