Much like the Chinese Panda, the Canadian Maple Leaf has been around for several decades, but is still a relatively new coin in the world of silver. The coin has a standard weight of 1 oz and made its debut in 1988. It is one of the most recognizable coins on the market and is a staple in the Canadian culture.
The Maple Leaf is minted exclusively by the Royal Canadian Mint. One of the most noteworthy aspects of this coin is the fact that its actual silver content is measured at 99.99%, which is fractionally larger than literally every other coin minted by other countries.
The coin serves as legal tender in Canada, but it would not make a lot of sense to actually use it at face value, which is measured at $5 CAD. Many special editions of the coin have been minted and released to the public over the years. Some of the most notable commemorative Silver Maple Leafs feature the Titanic, D-Day and other events of national or historical interest. Each year, uncirculated, proof and other variations of the coin are minted and made available for sale.
Design of the Silver Maple Leaf
The design of the Maple Leaf remains the same on an annual basis. Any of the actual design alterations that are made will be barely noticeable to the average buyer. The obvious variations will be found on the rare, special edition commemorative coins that are released from time to time to remember different political figures or events.
The obverse side of most Silver Maple Leafs feature Queen Elizabeth II. This is one of the features of the coins that will remain unchanged in each edition. The reverse side of these coins features its namesake, a Maple Leaf. The intricate carving is the tell-tale sign that you have a Canadian coin.
Value of Silver Maple Leafs
Silver Maple Leafs will cost you around $5-$10 over spot. The current year coins will cost a few dollars over this, and older backdate pieces can be found for a bit less from time to time. These rates apply to the uncirculated coins that are minted in massive quantities each year. There are a few years where mintages were exceptionally low, as you will find with 1997 coins, and these items will cost a fair amount more due to their increased scarcity.
The special series coins cost a tad more than most of the regular edition uncirculated coins. Though it will always depend on the specific series in question, most will cost around $20 over spot.
Proof coins are going to cost a lot more, but they are not at all unreasonable, especially when compared to proofs from other countries (the US aside). Most proof coins can be purchased for under $200, and you might even be able to find some from $100-$150 if you do a little bit if searching around.
Buy Silver Maple Leaf Coins
Maple Leaf coins can be purchased in bulk quantities, which makes them an ideal choice for investors. Buying tubes makes the most sense for investors because they can be ordered at a discount. For collectors, proofs or single coins are also readily available.
Backdate Maple Leafs are definitely the easiest way to find cheaper coins. They do not have the hype affixed to them as the newest coins do, so you won't be forced to pay the extra premium over spot. If you simply want to own some Canadian coins and are not worried about the specific year, you will find that Maple Leafs are actually very affordable, no matter how large or small your budget might be.