The Canadian Maple Coin: Silver, Gold, and Platinum
The Canadian Maple coin is minted by the Royal Canadian Mint in .999 in silver, gold, and platinum versions, with .9999 fineness and 99.9%, respectively, under the authority of the Canadian Government. The gold version of the Canadian Maple was first produced in 1979 and the silver and platinum versions were first produced in 1988. The silver, gold, and platinum versions of the Canadian Maple all share a similar default design of the profile of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse and the Canadian Maple Leaf on the reverse display. There are numerous alternative designs and special editions, primarily with the silver version of the coin, that replace the Canadian Maple Leaf on the reverse design with alternative options such as the White-tailed deer, Grizzly Bear, or Bison, among others. There were bimetallic Canadian Maples produced in 2004 as well.
When the gold version was first released in 1979 it was only .999 pure gold until it was changed in 1984 to the .9999 purity standard. The one ounce versions of the Canadian Maple coins all have legal tender status of 5 Canadian dollars, 50 Canadian dollars, and 50 Canadian dollars for silver, gold, and platinum, respectively. When the Canadian Maple was released in 1979 its largest competitor was the Krugerrand which was actively boycotted in response to apartheid.
While the silver edition of the Canadian Maple has the largest number of alternative designs, the gold version has very unique versions, including a hologram version and the One Million Dollar version. The gold hologram version was first produced in 1999 and was also produced in 2001 and 2009. The One Million Dollar Gold Canadian Maple or Big Maple Leaf weighs 100 kilograms (220 pounds) and six were issued in 2007. One of the Big Maple Leafs was stolen from the Bode Museum in Berlin, Germany and four Lebanese teenagers were eventually apprehended for the theft but the coin was never recovered and it is assumed to be melted down for resale. The Canadian Maple Leaf coin is considered one of the most sought after and well respected government minted coins in the world and is collected by silver, gold, and platinum investors annually for its high level of quality and purity.