Canadian Silver Maple Leaf
The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf is a silver bullion coin that is annually issued by the Canadian Government and produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. Since its introduction in 1988 by the Royal Canadian Mint, three subsequent standard editions and other several special editions have already been produced.
This coin is a legal tender that has a face value of 5 Canadian dollars. Its market value for metal, however, varies, depending on the spot price of silver. This coin is struck strictly with 99.99% silver content, which makes the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf among the finest official bullion coins around the world. Standard version of the coin weighs 1 troy ounce (ozt).
On its front, the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf displays the profile of Queen Elizabeth II. So far, three subsequent versions of the Queen’s profile have been featured on this coin:
- 1988–1989: Portrait by Arnold Machin.
- 1990–2003: Portrait by Dora de Pédery-Hunt.
- Since 2004: Portrait by Susanna Blunt.
Meanwhile, a Canadian Maple Leaf sits on the opposite side of the coin. This mark has remained unchanged since 1988. However, around the year 2014, new security features, such as radial lines and micro-engraved laser marks, were introduced on the coins. These minute modifications affected the obverse of the coin as well. The words “CANADA” and “FINE SILVER 1 OZ ARGENT PUR” are universal elements that will always be present in all versions of the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coin.
Originally, the Silver Maple Leaf coin was packaged in Mylar. But, in 2009, due to increasing demand, packaging the coins in semi-transparent tubes with a yellow lid bearing the RCM logo became the norm. Later on, special editions of this packaging were introduced, which are tubes with lids that may come in varied colors, including orange, red, blue, dark blue, and gray. These tubes would contain 25 coins, each. Additionally, boxes that contain 20 tubes each also became available for general acquisition.
Silver Maple Leaf Coin Editions
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Silver Maple Leaf Series, the Government of Canada introduced a single-issue 10-ounce version of the coin – an obviously special mintage since the Silver Maple Leaf is only produced in 1oz coins. Unfortunately, this commemorative edition of the coin did not gain much popularity due to its expensive price of $200 and lack of interest among citizens. As a result, more than half of the planned 30,000 10oz SMLs were taken back for melting instead.
In 1999, another commemorative edition was minted in line with the 20th anniversary of the RCM Maple Leaf Program. During the year, a number of Silver Maple Leaf coins were issued with a privy mark in celebration of this milestone. A year later, privy marks with fireworks and “2000” were stricken on the SMLs. Likewise, another version of the Silver Maple Coin was issued to commemorate the second millennium. These coins were double-dated with 1999 and 2000.