One of the main drivers of Canada's economy is its wealth of natural resources. From timber to tar sands, the country is littered with valuable commodities—including, of course, precious metals like gold and silver.
Fittingly, the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) transforms these raw metals into some of the purest silver and gold coins on the international market, the Silver Maple Leaf and the Gold Maple Leaf.
Both of these bullion coins are back for 2019, a cause for rejoice among investors and coin collectors alike.
Once again, government mints are gearing up to issue new coins for the current year. Eager buyers are already snapping up 2019-dated gold and silver coins from around the world, including Australia and the U.S.
Canada's state mint is of course in on the act, as well, with its unmistakable Maple Leaf series of coins. Since 1979, the RCM has struck its Gold Maple Leaf annually. It was the first bullion coin ever to use 99.99% pure gold, often referred to as .9999 fine gold.
This impressive feat of "four-nines gold" has since been replicated by the world's leading Swiss refiners, Britain's Royal Mint, and China's central mint, among others. However, the Royal Canadian Mint also earned the distinction as the first refining facility (state-run or private) to achieve .9999 fine gold. This milestone was reached years before RCM struck that gold into legal tender coins.
The mint added the one-ounce Silver Maple Leaf in 1988, and marked the flagship silver coin's 30th birthday with a one-year reverse design variety—just as it did for the 25th anniversary of the series in 2013.
Silver Maples also mirror the achievement of their gold counterparts by using .9999 fine silver. More than two decades later, this standard was adopted for the Austrian Mint's Vienna Philharmonic coins as well as several of Perth Mint's silver coins, which are minted in Western Australia.
The 1 oz size of the Silver Maple Leaf is typically the second-best selling silver coin anywhere in the world (behind only the American Silver Eagle).
This hasn't happened by chance or by accident. Aside from sparking the trend toward government mints using .9999 pure precious metal, Silver Maples have duly earned their reputation for ranking among the most trusted and admired bullion coins on the global market. These qualities are also what helps make the coins so liquid.
In 2016, the most recent year for which there are official mint records of Maple Leaf mintage totals, sales of Silver Maple Leafs were at record-highs. While it's likely that production fell in the following two years, there's no doubt that both Gold Maples and their silver cousins have achieved significant market penetration since their inception.
The new 2019 Gold Maple Leafs and 2019 Silver Maple Leafs are now available for purchase!
On the gold side, sizes include the standard 1 oz coin as well as smaller versions that are measured in fractions of a troy ounce. The situation is reversed for silver, where varieties of the coin are made in sizes larger than the typical 1 oz product.
You can also stack up silver in bulk with a mint-sealed "Monster Box" of Silver Maple Leaf coins, which includes 500 coins—equal to 500 troy ounces (over 15.5 kilograms) of pure silver.
The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.
Everett has been the head content writer and market analyst at Gainesville Coins since 2013. He has a background in History and is deeply interested in how gold and silver have historically fit into the financial system.