.5 oz. Canadian Gold Maple Leaf
Since 1979 the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf has set a high standard in gold bullion investing. Its release marked the birth of the very first 24 karat 100% pure gold bullion coin. Since then many others have followed suit with a 24 karat gold coin; among the names are the Chinese Panda, Austrian Philharmonic, and U.S. Buffalo. Prior to the release of the Maple Leaf the South African Krugerrand dominated the market since its release in 1967 as it was one of only a few bullion coins investors could get their hands on.
Canada’s symbol, the maple leaf, which is so brilliantly displayed on the back of the coin, did not come to fruition until 1965 when the new national flag with the stylized red maple leaf on a white background was unveiled.
Design and Specifications
The design by Arnold Machin has been unchanged since its inception in 1979, however the image of Queen Elizabeth II changes every year as she matures. Her image appears on the obverse of front of the coin along with her name, the face value of $20 and the date of production.
The reverse displays the image of the famous Canadian Maple Leaf with “CANADA” inscribed above it and the words “FINE GOLD” and “1/2 OZ OR PUR” at the bottom of the coin. To the maple leaf’s left and right is the numbers 9999.
The Maple Leaf is also struck in 1oz, .25oz, .10oz and .05oz versions as well. From 1979 to 1982 the coins were minted in .999 fine gold and since 1983 they have been minted in .9999 fine gold.
Once the World’s Largest Coin
A one million dollar face value Canadian Maple Leaf was released by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007. The coin weighs 100 kilograms, is 50 cm in diameter, is 3 cm thick and has a purity of .99999. Mints around the world like to produce ever larger coins as a public relations stunt to draw international attention to their products. This Maple Leaf was designed as a one of a kind show piece, however interest was large enough to command five orders for the coin worth around $2 million just in gold content.
Since the unveiling of this gigantic Maple Leaf the Perth Mint of Australia has out done the Canadians by releasing a 1,012 kilogram gold Kangaroo that is around 10 times the size and is worth over $50 million! As of 2011 this is the world’s largest gold coin.