Silver Canadian Maple Leaf Coins

The Canadian Maple Leaf Silver coin, which has a face value of $5 Canadian, is a silver bullion coin issued annually by the Government of Canada. As one of the best-known bullion coins in the world, the Canadian Silver Maple coin ranks among the top three, along with the South African Krugerrand and the U.S. American Eagle gold coin [1].

The purity and metal content of the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coin is backed by the Royal Canadian Mint and the Government of Canada. Most silver bullion coins are .999 pure, while the Maple Leaf is .9999 pure, adding to its collectible nature.

Although the Canadian Maple Leaf Silver coin is legal tender for payment on all debts, those who use it at its face value are at a disadvantage because of the actual value of the silver. This is due to the government backing the certified metal content.

Typically, silver outperforms gold in the market when it comes to precious metals. Silver is an extremely useful metal, and the growing industrial demand supports the Silver Maple Leaf prices, so keep that in mind when looking at Silver Maples for sale.

The Government of Canada sets the rules and guidelines when it comes to the production of the Canadian Maple Leaf Silver coin.

History

The Silver Maple Leaf coin was originally introduced in 1988 by the Royal Canadian Mint. It came nine years after the mint issued the more popular Gold Maple Leaf coin. Since its inception, the silver coin has had three standard editions along with several special editions.

Coin Production

The Royal Canadian Mint produced around 1 million Canadian Maple Leaf Silver coins in 1988. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that production slowed to several hundred thousand annually.

As is the instance with most silver coins in the late 2000s, the production of the Royal Canadian Mint Silver Maple Leaf coin increased exponentially. Each year from 2006 through 2010 saw more quantities produced. During the 1990s, the mint produced around 500,000 to 1 million coins, while 2006 saw 2.5 million made. In 2010, the mint broke records by producing 18 million coins, and in 2015, it produced 34.3 million [2].

Since its inception more than three decades ago, the Canadian Maple Leaf Silver coin has had several variations and special editions created to commemorate certain events and milestones. With more than 150 variations available, this is a sampling of just a few examples:

  • 1998: 10th Anniversary Silver Maple Leaf
  • 2000: Highlighting fireworks
  • 2003: 15th Anniversary Silver Maple Leaf
  • 2008: 20th Anniversary Silver Maple Leaf
  • 2009: Commemorate the London Bridge
  • 2010: Commemorate the Vancouver Olympics
  • 2012: Commemorate the Titanic’s 100th anniversary
  • 2013: 25th Anniversary Silver Maple Leaf
  • 2018: 30th Anniversary Silver Maple Leaf

Metal Content

One of the biggest reasons for the increase in popularity of the Silver Canadian Maple Leaf coin is due to its metal content. The silver maple contains 1 troy ounce of .9999 fine silver, making it one of the finest bullion coins in the world. It’s common for this coin to surpass the 1-ounce listed weight, if only by a small fraction.

Value

The Silver Maple Leaf coin value is $5 Canadian for its face value, making the coin official legal tender. Its market value depends upon the spot price of silver, which is often higher than its face value. It’s best to consult a Canadian Silver Maple Leaf price guide if you’re unsure how much silver is worth.

When looking at places offering to sell Canadian Maple Leaf Silver coins, take a look at how they’re packaged and distributed. Unlike most coins sent in tubes of 20, the Silver Maple Leaf coin comes packed in tubes of 25. The reason behind this is to meet the increased demand for the coins.

Design

Issued by Canada, the Maple Silver coin has the right-side profile of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse side. There have been three different portraits of the Queen, depicting her at various stages of her monarchy. The designers of the coins include the following:

  • 1988-1989: Portrait created by British artist and sculptor Arnold Machin
  • 1990-2003: Portrait created by Hungarian-Canadian sculptor Dora de Pedery-Hunt
  • 2004-current: Portrait created by Canadian portrait artist Susanna Blunt

The obverse includes the year of issue and value of the coin, which is $5 Canadian.

The reverse of the coin displays the national emblem of the Canadian maple leaf, which has remained unchanged since 1988. The detailed design includes the texture and veins of the leaf.

Above the leaf is the word ‘CANADA,’ while the phrase ‘FINE SILVER 1 OZ ARGENT PURE’ is along the bottom of the coin. Argent Pure translates to pure silver in French, which is Canada’s second language.

In 2014, new features were added to the coin on its reverse side, including a laser mark and radial lines. The radial lines make the coin difficult to counterfeit and highlight the main designs so they appear to jump off the coin.

Another security mark is a small, textured maple leaf located next to the stem of the larger leaf. It’s micro-engraved with the last two digits of the manufacturer year. You can only view these numbers under magnification. Each of these engravings is encoded, scanned and recorded at the mint, so each coin has its own DNA. All of these features help the coin become one of the most secure bullion coins on the market.

The Canadian Maple Leaf Silver coin is one of the most popular coins in the world. Its impressive 99.99% purity makes it stand out among other silver bullion coins. There are more than 150 different varieties of the coin as different versions were printed to commemorate certain events. With its cutting-edge anti-counterfeit designs, these Silver Canadian Maple Leafs are a solid option if you’re looking for a coin to add to your collection or wanting it for investment purposes.


1. Federal Trade Commission. ‘Investing in Bullion and Bullion Coins,’ https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0135-investing-bullion-and-bullion-coins. Accessed September 20, 2020.

2. Royal Canadian Mint. ‘Business Profitability in 2015 Continues to Reinforce Royal Canadian Mint’s Future,’ https://www.mint.ca/store/news/business-profitability-in-2015-continues-to-reinforce-royal-canadian-mints-future-27100044. Accessed September 20, 2020.