No.12: Canadian Gold Maple Leaf
In 1979 the only investment coin was the South African Krugerrand. Due to the economic boycott of South Africa because of apartheid, it was no longer available on the markets. There was still a strong demand but the supply was no longer on the market. The Royal Canadian Mint then decided to respond to this demand by creating its own investment coin: the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf. Its name comes from the fact that the coin features on its reverse the iconic maple leaf. It’s a symbol representing Canada and synonymous with Canadian identity.
Its designer Walter Ott wanted to create the purest investment gold coin in the world. That’s why the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf is the first investment coin with 99.9% pure gold. In 1982, following the improvement of the gold refining process, it became the first investment coin to reach a rate of 99.99% pure gold.
We can find it in 5 different denominations: 1 ounce, 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce, 1/10 ounce and 1/20 ounce coins.
All variants of the coin have the same design. On the obverse we can see the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II with the inscription “Elizabeth II” above the bust. The inscriptions corresponding to the nominal value and the year of issue are below. Since the creation of the coin there have been three different portraits of Queen Elizabeth II: when she was 39, 64 and 79 years old.
On its reverse, the inscription “Canada” appears at the top of the maple leaf. Below it are inscriptions indicating the weight of the coin. The purity of the coin is expressed by the inscription “9999” on both sides of the maple leaf.
In addition, since 2013, a small micro textured laser-engraved maple leaf has been added on a small portion of the reverse of the coin. In its centre is the number indicating the year of issue of the coin, which is only visible when using a magnification system.
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