The official bullion gold of Canada is the maple leaf gold coin. It is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.
The Royal Canadian Mint launched the maple leaf gold coin in 1979 for a three-year trial. The coin was very popular and continues to be minted to this day. It was conceived by Walter Ott, the mint’s chief engraver at the time, who also designed the reverse of the coin. The coins are commonly issued in denominations of $1, $5, $10, $20, and $50, but rarely are circulated and are usually sold at an amount influenced by the price of gold. Many special releases are minted as collector’s items.
At the time of its release, the only other widely available gold coin on earth, the Krugerrand, was 22 karats, or 91. 6 percent pure gold, and was not widely available due to various economic sanctions on apartheid-era South Africa. The maple leaf gold coin was 24 karats, or 99.9 percent pure. In 1981 the purity was increased to 99.99 percent pure gold.
Eventually some special issues at 99.999 percent purity were issued. Since pure gold shows marks very easily, careful handling of these coins is necessary. Maple leaf coins have also been minted in silver, platinum, and palladium. In 2007, the mint issued a special release gold coin with a face value of $1,000,000, and continues to mint these coins as ordered.
The maple leaf gold coin is a very sought after item in an increasingly exciting gold and bullion market. They are often interesting items to speculate on and are also riveting works of art.