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Maple Leaf Coins - Gold and Silver
Gold Maple Leaf Coin
Why The Maple Leaf?
Growing up a mere 30 miles south of the Canadian border, I was very accustomed to seeing Canadian currency. I always seemed to have a Canadian penny, nickle, dime, quarter, or fifty cent piece mixed with my American coins in my pocket or purse. This is normal for the northern border states to forget the foreign currency exchange rate when dealing with small currency coins. There are also a one dollar and two dollar coin.
The penny bears the Maple Leaf design. The penny is no longer being minted as of 2012 and will soon be out of circulation. The Nickle bears a Beaver design, the dime (my favorite) bears a sailboat design called the Bluenose, the quarter bears a Caribou, and the fifty cent piece bears the Canadian Coat of Arms.
The one dollar coin bear a Loon. It is nicknamed the "loonie" because of it. The two dollar coin bears a Polar Bear. As you can see, the Canadian Mint provides a vast resource of coin designs for any collector. As a Silver and Gold coin and art bar collector, I have enjoyed researching many forms of currency from different countries.
As previously mentioned, the reverse of the Canadian penny bears that familiar symbol of the Maple Leaf. I often wondered why did Canada choose a Maple Leaf as their iconic symbol. According to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maple_leaf), it was the early French Canadian settlers who adopted this symbol. In 1868, it was adopted as the symbol for the nation.
It is interesting to note that the Green Maple Leaf represented the province of Quebec, and the Gold Maple Leaf, the province of Ontario. The Maple Leaf cast was included on all currency between 1876 and 1901, then just the penny. After 1979, the Royal Canadian Mint began producing precious metal bullion coins. These rounds have the Maple Leaf stamped on them and are minted in Silver, Gold (see photo), Platinum, and Palladium.
Silver Maple Leaf
The Maple Leaf Bullion Rounds
As I already mentioned, the Mint produces precious metal bullion rounds for collecting and investments. The Silver Maple Leaf (see Photo) is stamped as a 5 dollar coin. I just received my 2015 coins for my collection. There is also a 5 ounce Silver Maple Leaf coin with 50 dollars face value, and a 1 kilogram "Forever" Silver Maple Leaf with 250 dollars face value.
The Canadian Mint (and Royal Mint in London) produce and distribute their coins before the actual year of stamp. I look for these in December of the previous year. Meaning-I have acquired the Silver Maple Leaf and Silver Britannia coins for 2015 in December of 2014. Whereas my 2015 American Silver Eagle coin "pre -order" will not deliver until after January 23rd, 2015.
The Gold Maple Leaf coin is minted in .9999 pure gold (the four nines) and in multiple weights:
1 ounce coin bears the 50 dollar face value.
1/2 ounce coin bears the 20 dollar face value.
1/4 ounce coin bears the 10 dollar face value.
1/20 ounce coin bears the 1 dollar face value.
(There is a 1/10 ounce coin celebrating the 2015 Year of the Sheep design for the 5 dollar face value.)
New in 2013, the mint began producing a smaller Gold Maple Leaf collectible coin - the 1 gram 50 cent face value coin. These are called the "MapleGram" and are sold in sheets of 25. These sheets can be divided into 25 individual coins in assay cards.
Added Security Feature
The Silver Maple Leaf coin was updated in 2014 to include a new security feature. This new feature includes a laser mark (see the small leaf in the photo) that is micro-engraved in addition to the complex design of radial lines.
Previously, some coins bore a blemish spot, or milk spot, by design to help deter fraud and counterfeiting attempts.
Another mark that can be seen on some coins is the privy. This is a small design stamped on the coins to identify something specific to the coin's mint origniation.
See video below for more information.
Silver Maple Leaf on Amazon
Secure, Modern & Resistant Technology (SM&RT) by the Royal Canadian Mint
There are Four Canadian Mints
If You Were Traveling in Canada, Would You Visit the Mint?
Pure Gold Coin Maple Leaves
A very interesting note concerning the Maple Leaf bullion rounds and other designs is the practice of the Royal Canadian Mint to control the mintage of coins at various numbers. The mintage refers to the total number of coins minted in a specific design for that year or set.
For example, the Pure Gold Maple Leaf with Queen Elizabeth II's 1953 Effigy (see photo) is limited to only 1500 coins minted for 2014.
We know that the fewer number of a coin design is minted, the more value the coin has to collectors due to rarity. I can only assume that this may be a background reason for the low number of coins minted.
Other examples include:
1 ounce Silver Maple leaf (2014) low mintage of 7500.
5 ounce Silver Maple Leaves (2014) low mintage of 2500.
1 ounce Gold Maple Leaf (2014) low mintage of 2000.
1 ounce Platinum Maple Leaf (2014) low mintage of 250.
5 ounce Legend of the Spirit Bear Gold Coin (2014) very low mintage of 50.
Or, your choice of the rare 1 kilogram gold "Snowy Owl" or "Battle of Lundy's Lane" coins (2014) extremely low mintage of 10 coins each. (These are around $69,000 CAN each, for those who were wondering).
The 2013 Silver Maple Leafs - Two Designs
The Queen's Effigies
I wanted to add a quick note on the Queen's effigy, or image, which can be found on coins minted in the British colonies and former British colonies.
British coins have been engraved with the reigning monarch's image since as far back as 1653. There are normally several versions, or designs, of each monarch during their reign. Each colony, or former colony has their own designs. These designs normally show the side of the monarch's head (left or right) with the year stamp and optionally, a Latin verse on the obverse side. The other side of these coins is available for other designs, like the Canadian Maple Leaf.
These monarchs include Cromwell, Charles II, James II, William and Mary, William III, Anne, George I, George II, George III, George IV, William IV, Victoria, Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, George VI, and the current reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.
What Does It Take To Produce Coins?
Metal Refining Process
Art Design Process
Select a Theme
Create the Coin Blanks
Commission Artists to Submit DesignsChoose the Design
Smooth, or "debur" the Rough Blanks
Choose the Design
Preparing for Striking
Electroplating the Blanks
Meeting the Standards Before Actual Striking