Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins

Author: Focus on the User | 7 min read
Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin

The Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin is Canada's premier gold bullion coin and a leading gold coin globally. Since its inception in 1982, the Royal Canadian Mint has produced it with a gold purity of 99.99%. As legal tender in Canada, these coins come in various weights, from 1 gram to 1 ounce, each carrying a different face value. Annually, the coin's design is consistent, featuring the iconic maple leaf symbolizing the nation and a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, reflective of her age at the time of minting.

Canadian leaf gold coin face values

History of the Gold Canadian Maple Leaf

The Gold Canadian Maple Leaf coin's history began in 1979, launched in response to the burgeoning market demand for high-purity gold coins. By 1982, the Royal Canadian Mint enhanced the gold content to 99.99%, setting a new standard for gold coins. Over the years, the coin has seen the introduction of new denominations and has been influenced by the fluctuating trends in the global gold market. In 2014, the Mint innovated further by releasing a 1 gram Gold Maple Leaf coin.

Design and Appearance

The Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin boasts a detailed design, with the reverse side featuring a finely crafted maple leaf and the obverse showcasing various portraits of Queen Elizabeth II over time. These designs are the work of renowned artists, including Susanna Blunt. The Mint employs advanced security measures such as radial lines and a micro-engraved laser mark to combat counterfeiting.


The specifications of the 1 oz Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin include a diameter of 30 mm and a thickness of 2.87 mm. It has a face value of 50 Canadian dollars, a fact which is significant for traders and collectors due to the ease of valuation and standardization it provides.

Face Values

  • 1 oz Face Value - $50
  • 1/2 oz Face Value - $20
  • 1/4 oz Face Value - $10
  • 1/10 oz Face Value - $5
  • 1/20 oz Face Value - $1
  • 1 Gram Face Value - $.50
  • Queen Elizabeth II at 39 years of age - 1979-1989
  • Queen Elizabeth II at 64 years of age - 1990-2004
  • Queen Elizabeth II at 79 years of age - 2023

For the same reasons as other gold bullion programs, each year, the Gold Maple Leaf coins are produced in accordance with demand rather than a fixed mintage. In 1979, the 1-ounce coins had a mintage of 1 million, while in 1980, they had a mintage of 1.215 million. There have been a number of notable years since that period, including the following:

Years With the Highest Minting of the Gold Maple Leaf Coin

  • 1985 - 1.747 million pieces
  • 2011 - 1.107 million pieces
  • 1984 - 1.098 million pieces
  • 1986 - 1.093 million pieces
  • 2013 - 1.05 million pieces
  • 2010 - 1.036 million pieces

The years with limited demand for Gold Maple Leaf coins contrast sharply with these mintage numbers. For the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf bullion coins, the lowest reported mintage figures include:

Years With the Lowest Minting of the Gold Maple Leaf Coin

  • 2000 - 86,375 pieces
  • 2001 - 138,878 pieces
  • 1996 - 143,682 pieces
  • 1994 - 180,357 pieces
  • 2003 - 194,631 pieces

Top 3 Ways to Invest in Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins

Investing in Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins offers a robust approach to including gold in one's financial portfolio. These investments can be made through a Gold IRA Rollover, direct purchases, or by diversifying with other IRA-approved gold assets, providing a range of options for investors with varying strategies and objectives.

1. Canadian Maple Leaf Gold IRA Rollover

Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins are eligible for inclusion in a self-directed Individual Retirement Account (IRA) due to their minimum gold purity of 99.5%, surpassing the IRS requirements. An investor can transfer assets from an existing IRA to a Gold IRA in a tax-deferred or tax-free rollover, preserving the tax advantages while shifting to a potentially more secure asset class.

2. Purchase Gold Canadian Maple Leafs Directly

Investors may also purchase Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins directly from authorized dealers or the Royal Canadian Mint. This route ensures the authenticity of the coins and allows the buyer to obtain physical ownership promptly. Buyers should consider the premium rates over the current spot price of gold and the associated verification of the coins' authenticity.

3. Diversify With Other IRA-Approved Gold

For a balanced investment portfolio, one can diversify by combining Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins with other IRA-approved gold assets. This strategy can help in spreading risk and potentially leveraging advantages during times of market volatility.

Find Out How to Invest Gold Coins in Your IRA

Gold Canadian Maple Leaf Types

Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins are not a monolith; they include bullion coins for investors, proof coins for collectors, and numismatic coins that carry unique values. Special and commemorative editions add to the richness of the series, celebrating significant events and milestones with limited mintage and unique designs.

Canadian Maple Leaf Bullion Coins

The bullion version of the Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin is the backbone of the investment market for Canadian gold. These coins are minted in large quantities, ensuring they are readily available and liquid for private investors and traders around the world.

Canadian Maple Leaf Proof Coins

Proof coins are minted using specialized processes that produce coins with sharper details and a mirror-like finish. These are often limited in production, making them highly sought after by collectors. Each coin is presented in a protective case accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

Canadian Maple Leaf Numismatic Coins

Numismatic Canadian Maple Leaf coins are prized for their rarity and may include error coins, first strike editions, and other variations. These coins often command a premium well above the market value of their gold content, reflecting their uniqueness and collectibility.

Special Edition Canadian Maple Leaf Coins

Special editions, like the 2017 coin commemorating the 150th Anniversary of Confederation, offer unique appeal due to their distinctive design features and limited availability. These coins are often created to mark historical or significant national events.

Commemorative Canadian Maple Leaf Coins

The Royal Canadian Mint also issues commemorative versions of the Gold Maple Leaf, such as those for the 2009 Olympic Winter Games. These coins feature thematic designs, have a limited coin mintage, and are sometimes offered in special packaging, enhancing their appeal to collectors.

Gold Maple Leaf Coins From Canada

Gold Canadian Maple Leaf Weight Variations

The Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin is minted in a variety of weights to cater to different investment strategies and budget considerations. These weights include the standard 1 oz coin, as well as fractional sizes such as 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, 1/20 oz, and the smallest, the 1 gram coin.

1 oz Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin

The 1 oz Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin, weighing precisely 31.11 grams, is the benchmark for trading and investment. Its standardized dimensions facilitate easy trading and valuation within the gold market.

1/2 oz Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin

With a weight of 15.55 grams and a face value of 20 Canadian dollars, the 1/2 oz coin offers an accessible investment option, balancing cost with the investment benefits of gold.

1/4 oz Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin

The 1/4 oz coin, weighing 7.78 grams and with a 10 Canadian dollars face value, provides investment flexibility, appealing to those looking to make smaller, incremental gold investments.

1/10 oz Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin

Weighing 3.11 grams and with a face value of 5 Canadian dollars, the 1/10 oz coin is popular among investors seeking portfolio diversification at a lower entry point.

1/20 oz Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin

At 1.55 grams and with a face value of 1 Canadian dollar, this coin is the smallest fractional option, popular for its affordability and collectibility.

1 gram Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin

The 1 gram Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin was introduced to offer a wide range of investment opportunities, attracting first-time precious metal buyers with a significantly lower price point.

Investing in Gold Canadian Maple Leaf Coins

Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins hold a prestigious position in the investment world, with their reputation for gold purity and the backing of the Canadian government enhancing their global recognition and acceptability.

Recognition and Acceptance

Backed by the sovereign mint of Canada, these coins are recognized and traded worldwide, ensuring liquidity and ease of trade in global markets.

Purity and Composition

The 99.99% gold purity of Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins instills investor confidence, playing a crucial role in the coins' acceptance in investment markets.

Liquidity and Resale Value

The liquidity and resale value of Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins are influenced by several factors, including the current spot price of gold, market demand, and the continuous availability of buyers.

Design and Security Features

Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins incorporate cutting-edge security features such as radial lines and a micro-engraved maple leaf. The Bullion DNA anti-counterfeiting technology further secures the coins against sophisticated counterfeiting technology.

Gold Canadian Maple Leaf Coins For Retirement

Including Gold Canadian Maple Leaf coins in retirement planning can add stability to an investment portfolio, potentially offer tax advantages, and comply with IRS requirements for precious metals IRAs, making them a suitable asset for long-term investment.

Royal Canadian Mint

Other Canadian Gold Coins

The Royal Canadian Mint has produced various other gold coin series, each with distinctive designs and qualities that appeal to both investors and collectors.

Canadian Wildlife Series Gold Coins

The Wildlife Series, minted from 2011 to 2013, featured limited-edition coins with designs of various Canadian animals, making these coins highly desirable among collectors due to their detailed design and limited coin series run.

Canadian Birds of Prey Gold Coins

Minted from 2014 to 2015, the Birds of Prey Series was a four-coin program showcasing Canadian birds, designed by acclaimed artists, and limited in mintage, adding to their collectible value.

Canadian Call of the Wild Series

The Call of the Wild Series is distinguished by its 99.999% gold purity, innovative security features, and depictions of Canada's wilderness sounds. These coins represent the peak of the Mint's craftsmanship and are highly sought after for their artistic and intrinsic value.

Canadian Big Coin Series

The Big Coin Series consists of oversized 5 oz silver coins with gold plating, featuring iconic Canadian designs. Targeting a niche collector market, these coins are prized for their unique combination of size, precious metals, and national symbolism.

Similar IRA-Approved Gold Coins

In addition to Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins, there are several other gold coins approved for Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) that offer diversity and stability for investors' portfolios. These include prominent coins from the United States, Australia, Austria, and South Africa, each with its own unique attributes and history.

American Gold Eagle Coins

The American Gold Eagle is composed of 91.67% gold and was first issued in various denominations in 1986. It is the leading gold bullion coin in the United States and a favorite among North American investors. Its status is bolstered by the reliability of the United States Mint and the coin's design, which features iconic American imagery.

American Gold Buffalo Coins

The American Gold Buffalo boasts a 99.99% pure gold content and holds the distinction of being the first .9999 fine gold coin offered by the U.S. Mint. Its design, inspired by the classic 1913 Buffalo Nickel, has made it a cherished item among collectors and investors alike.

Australian Gold Kangaroo/Nugget Coins

Known for their annually changing kangaroo designs, the Australian Gold Kangaroo/Nugget coins are legal tender in Australia and have had a .9999 gold purity since 1989. These coins are produced by the Perth Mint, one of the largest and most respected mints in the world.

Austrian Gold Philharmonic Coins

The Austrian Gold Philharmonic coin is Europe's leading gold bullion coin, celebrating the esteemed Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra with its design. It is minted in .9999 fine gold and is recognized for its beauty and purity.

South African Gold Krugerrand Coins

As the first gold bullion coin intended for private investors, the South African Gold Krugerrand has a distinctive alloy with copper, giving it a unique color. The Krugerrand played a significant role in the development of the global gold coin market and continues to be a popular choice for private investment.

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Disclaimer: Content on this website is not intended to be used as financial advice. It is not to be used as a recommendation to buy, sell, or trade an asset that requires a licensed broker. Consult a financial advisor.

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