The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf is Canada's world-famous gold bullion coin. It's issued by the Government of Canada and struck by the Royal Canadian Mint. The Gold Maple Leaf is one of the world's premier pure gold coins. Since their introduction in 1979, the Gold Maple Leafs have been minted and sold in quantities exceeding twenty-five million Troy ounces of pure gold. In addition, the Gold Maple Leaf was the first gold coin to be struck in the high purity of .9999 "four nines" gold.
The world was introduced to the legal tender gold bullion coin with the South Africa Krugerrand in 1967. The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf joined with it in 1979. Both coins have legal tender face value. The Canadian Gold Maple leaf struck in one Troy ounce (31.10 grams) has a face value of $50 Canadian.
The obverse of the Gold Maple Leaf shows a portrait of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. As a member of the British Commonwealth, The Queen is the official Head of State of Canada. The obverse also displays her name, the date, and the coin's monetary value.
The reverse of the Gold Maple Leaf features the country (Canada) the gold purity in English and French, and of course, the coin's namesake, the Canada Maple Leaf.
Between 1979 and 1982, the mint produced only one Troy ounce Gold Maple Leafs with a .999 pure gold content. Between 1982 and 1985 one-tenth, one-quarter and one-half ounce Gold Maple Leafs were minted and the gold purity was increased to .9999 "four nines" gold. However, because Maple Leafs begin minting in November, most 1982 Gold Maples Leafs are .999 pure gold. Up until 1989, the obverse featured a portrait of the 39-year old Queen.
From 1990 to 2004, the coins featured a portrait of the 69-year old Queen. The one-twentieth ounce coin was first struck in 1993 and a $2 Gold Maple Leaf was struck in 1994 in .0667 ounces of gold.
Between 2005 and the 2015, the Gold Maple Leaf shows a portrait of the 79-year old Queen. Since 2014, the mint has also struck a one-gram Gold Maple Leaf.
Numerous special edition Gold Maple Leafs have been produced over the years in .99999 "five nines" pure gold.
In 2013, the Mint introduced a new and unique security feature to confirm the authenticity of its Gold Maple Leaf coins. Derived from the same award-winning security technology applied to Canada's $1 and $2 circulation coins, the Gold Maple Leaf security feature consists of a textured maple leaf, micro engraved with laser technology on a small area of the reverse side (Maple Leaf side) of the coin. In the center of this mark, visible under magnification, is the numeral "14", denoting the coin's year of issue.
New in 2015, replacing the bullion finish on earlier coins, the radial lines in the new 2015 Gold Maple Leaf's field were precisely machined to within microns on the master tooling to ensure reproducibility from die to die and coin to coin. The uniqueness of the line width and pitch gives this coin a characteristic look, and creates a light-diffracting pattern that is specific to this coin.