Looking for a graduation gift with historical significance? Or perhaps you just want to find a way to diversify your investments? Either way, the Gold Buffalo Coin and the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin make terrific gifts as well as classic precious metal investments, as each are the highest carat gold bullion coins made by their respective national mints. Both coins are 24-carat and are also legal tender in their home countries, with face values that vary depending on the size of the coins.
Gold Maple Leaf and Gold Buffalo Overview
The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin was introduced by the Canadian government in 1979 in response to the economic boycott of the South African apartheid government. At the time, the only gold bullion coins available throughout the world were the 22-carat South African Krugerrand and thus the boycott left gold investors without a source of bullion. The Canadian government wisely decided to fill that void and Canadian Gold Maple Leaf was born. Designed by Walter Ott, the coin features the profile of Queen Elizabeth II on its obverse side, along with the inscription “ELIZABETH II,” the coin’s face value, and year of minting. The reverse is adorned with a maple leaf, Canada’s official national symbol, with the coin’s purity and denomination inscribed. The coin has been popular with investors for many years and has been minted in several special editions, including a 2007 issuance of coins with face values of one million Canadian dollars.
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The Gold Buffalo Coin was not introduced until 2006, when the Presidential 41 Coin Act of 2005 was passed. The coin is modeled after the popular “Indian Head” or “Buffalo Nickel” minted from 1913 to 1938, designed by James Earle Fraser, the iconic early twentieth-century American sculptor. The obverse side features the profile of a Native American man Earle modeled after three prominent Native American chiefs: Big Tree (Kiowa Tribe), Iron Tail (Oglala Lakota Tribe), and Two Months (Cheyenne Tribe), and the coin also displays the inscriptions “LIBERTY” and the year of minting. The reverse side shows the silhouette of an American bison modeled after “Black Diamond,” a bison that was in the New York Zoological Gardens at the time of Earle’s design.
Differences Between Gold Maple Leaf and Gold Buffalo
The differences between the two coins come down to their countries of origin and their sizes. The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf is minted by the Royal Canadian Mint and, as legal tender in Canada, is denominated in Canadian dollars. The Gold Buffalo Coin is minted by the U.S. Mint and is denominated in U.S. dollars.
While both come in four sizes and face values, the Maple Leaf has one additional size:
Gold Maple Leaf vs Gold Buffalo
|Net fine weight||Face value (USD)||Face value (CAD)|
|1 troy ounce||$50.00||$50.00|
|½ troy ounce||$25.00||$25.00|
|¼ troy ounce||$10.00||$10.00|
|1/10 troy ounce||$5.00||$5.00|
|1/20 troy ounce||Maple leaf only →||$1.00|
Special “Proof” versions are available as well, which are limited production coins minted with the highest quality possible.
Investing in 24-Carat Gold Bullion Coins
First, the coins do not sell for their face value but instead trade on the value of the metals in the coin. As both coins are 24-carat bullion or 0.9999 pure gold, their value is initially determined by the gold price. However, after that, the Canadian dollar to U.S. dollar exchange rate also affects the value of the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf. Current values for both coins are far above their face values, and many experts believe that the gold price has upward potential and may rise in the future.
Next, these coins tend to be best used for investment purposes rather than as legal tender, as their high gold content makes them softer than normal coins or even 22-carat bullion, which has other metals to give it solidity. Finally, it’s worth pointing out that both these coins qualify for placement in physical gold Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).
Buying Gold Bullion Coins
The U.S. Mint does not sell gold bullion coins directly to the public but instead sells the coins to its network of Authorized Purchasers who meet certain strict criteria.” Luckily, we Scottsdale Bullion & Coin (SBC) are a U. S. Mint Authorized Purchaser. While the Royal Canadian Mint does sell gold bullion coins to the public, SBC also sells Gold Maple Leaf coins, so you don’t have to go through more than one source for your gold bullion investments.