The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf is the official silver bullion coin of Canada and is struck by the Royal Canadian Mint since 1988. The face value of the 1oz coin is 5 Canadian dollars, which is the highest value of a (international) silver bullion coin. The purity of the coin is 99.99% silver, also the purest among other bullion issues which have a 99.9% standard. The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coins often carry the so-called “Milk Spot,” which is a milky-looking baked-in blemish that is the result of cleaning detergent getting baked into the coin in the annealing furnace.
Similarly to the Gold Maple Leaf, the Silver Maple leaf was designed by Walter Ott. The obverse design also consists of the profile of Queen Elizabeth II, as well as the inscription ELIZABETH II (there is a young head version, an old head version, and an older head version of the Queen) and the coin’s face value of 5 Canadian dollars, as well as the year of minting. The reverse sign features the iconic maple leaf and the inscriptions CANADA, as well as the coin’s purity and denomination. Annual special editions of the coin in past have included proof releases (1989 only), privy marks, a colored maple leaf with a different design from the regular maple leaf, as well as holographic enhancements. Another special design is the 2009 issue which commemorates the 2010 Winter Olympics.
All Silver Maple Leaf coins feature the phrase “FINE SILVER 1 OZ ARGENT PUR” along the bottom of the reverse side.
The Silver Maple Leaf has been produced in a variety of special issues. In 1998, a single-issue 10 oz version of the coin was struck to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the series. A year later, many Silver Maple Leaf coins were released with a privy mark to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the RCM Maple Leaf Program. In 2000, the coins featured a Privy Mark with Fireworks along with the number 2000. Another Silver Maple Leaf was issued to commemorate the Millennium, dated 1999 and 2000.
The Silver Maple Leaf generates prices above its bullion value, usually about $3 to 4 over spot in the year of issue. However, during 1996 and 1997, for example, Silver Maple Leaf sold in the $60 range for due to very limited mintages. The rarest Silver Maple Leaf coin ever struck is the 2005 Liberation Tulip Privy Maple Leaf which was minted by the Royal Canadian Mint for the Royal Dutch Mint to commemorate the Liberation of the Netherlands. Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coins are widely revered for their purity and technical perfection. Furthermore, they are easily available and salable around the world. Not only are they affordable, but they are also simple to transport and store, making them a convenient and promising investment option eligible for addition into a silver IRA (Individual Retirement Account).