A legal-tender coin, the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf has a face value of $5 Canadian dollars—higher than many of its competitors on the international market.
Weighing 1-troy-ounce, the Silver Maple Leaf has a diameter of 38 mm and a thickness of 3.29 mm. The Silver Maple Leaf carries one of the highest degrees of purity for a government-minted silver bullion coin: .9999 pure silver. Bullion silver coins are usually minted at only .999 silver.
Another feature that sets the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf apart from other bullion coins is its pristine appearance, which is made possible by the RCM’s Mintshield™ technology.
Developed in 2018, the proprietary method reduces the occurrence of white spots, also known as “milk spots.” Such blemishes can decrease the value of otherwise choice silver coins. Invisible to the naked eye, Mintshield™ has turned the tables on the milk spot plague, preserving the dazzling appearance of the Silver Maple Leaf for collectors and investors.
Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Coin Design
This silver bullion coin comes in a standard version, as well as a number of different themed versions.
Here’s an overview of the different Canadian Silver Maple Leaf bullion coin designs:
Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Obverse Design
The obverse design of the Silver Maple Leaf depicts the profile of Queen Elizabeth II. Inscriptions of “ELIZABETH II,” the coin’s year of issue, and its denomination encircle the image.
As the queen’s appearance has changed with age so too have the coin’s depictions of her:
- Young Queen Obverse (1988 and 1989): designed by the British artist, sculptor, and coin designer Arnold Machin.
- Middle-Aged Queen Obverse (1990 to 2003): created by the Hungarian-Canadian sculptor Dora de Pedrery-Hunt.
- Older Queen Obverse (since 2004): designed by the Chinese-born Canadian portrait artist Susanna Blunt.
Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Reverse Design
The reverse features the maple leaf, the iconic symbol of Canada. Surrounding the image are inscriptions of “CANADA,” “9999,” and “FINE SILVER 1 OZ ARGENT PUR.”
Every Canadian Silver Maple Leaf minted in 2015 and later comes with cutting-edge anti-counterfeiting security features: Bullion DNA™ Anti-Counterfeiting Technology, a micro-engraved maple leaf, and radial lines. The intricate veining of the maple leaf is magnificent in its detail and beauty.
Water Ott is the principal designer of the reverse, which is patterned after the sugar maple leaf. An Austrian-Canadian, Ott was the RCM’s chief engraver from 1977 until his retirement in 1985.
Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Special Editions
A number of commemorative editions of the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf have been minted with special motifs on the reverse:
- Anniversary and Commemoration Editions (1989 – 2019)
- Zodiac Series (1998 – 2009, 2012 – 2018)
- Fabulous Series (2006-2016)
- Canadian Wildlife Series (2011 – 2013)
- Canadian Arctic Series (2013-2015)
Additional special editions of this coin have been struck. These include coins with specific privy marks, coins with a colored maple leaf, and coins with holographic enhancements.
Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Mintage History
The maple leaf has been considered a symbol of Canada as far back as the 1700s. From 1876 to 1901, it appeared on all of Canada’s coins. In 1965, the maple leaf became emblazed on the new Canadian flag.
Introduced in 1967, the South African Gold Krugerrand coin was the only gold bullion coin available to private investors for years. But the Western embargo on South African goods prevented investors and collectors from buying the Krugerrand. In response to investor demand, the RCM introduced the second-ever gold bullion coin in 1979: the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin.
Nine years later, the RCM started issuing the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coins. The design is similar to the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin, but the coin is far more affordable for the average investor.
Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Mintages
For non-commemorative versions, mintages range from as low as 100,970 in 1997 to well over 20,000,000 coins struck in 2011. Some of the commemorative editions are much scarcer, with only a few thousand struck. This is the case with the 2005 Liberation Tulip Privy Maple Leaf, 3,500 of which were struck.
Silver Maple Leaf Coin Value
The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coin generally prices above its bullion value, usually about $2 to $4 over spot silver price. Some of the rarer versions, especially during 1996 and 1997, for example, command higher premiums.
Because of their purity and technical perfection, Silver Maple Leaf coins are among the most highly valued silver bullion coins. Beautiful and affordable, these coins make an excellent addition to any coin collection or precious metals IRA.