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Following the huge success of the first-ever Incuse Silver Maple Leaf in 2018, MCM teamed up with the Royal Canadian Mint for another historic first with this 2019 Gilt Reverse Proof Incuse Silver Maple Leaf!
While the 2018 Incuse Silver Maple Leaf coin was produced to mark the 30th anniversary of the debut of the hugely popular Canadian Silver Maple Leaf bullion coin in 1988, the new gilt reverse proof release, one of a two coin series that began with last year’s Reverse Proof Issue, is being produced to mark another milestone in the mint’s storied history -- the start of the Gold Maple Leaf series in 1979.
The Gold Maple Leaf was the world’s second major gold bullion coin after the South African gold Krugerrand that was first issued in 1967. By the late 1970s South Africa was under increasing international pressure for its apartheid policies of racial segregation and the Krugerrand became illegal to import in the U.S. and other countries, creating a need for a new gold bullion coin.
That demand was filled with the Royal Canadian Mint’s Gold Maple Leaf. Just as the Silver Maple Leaf was the world’s first .9999 fine silver coin, the gold version was the first gold coin of that fineness.
The new coin will feature a beautiful Reverse Proof finish on both sides that is achieved through multiple striking of the coin, which results in stunning frosted fields, and crisp, mirrored incuse devices. The central design elements on both sides of the coin will be incuse – the reverse with the iconic design of a single maple leaf, and the obverse with the Susana Blunt royal portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
The 2019 double-incuse coin will also have something the 2018 piece did not. It will feature selective 24 karat gold plating of only the sugar maple leaf design that appears, as always, on the coin’s reverse side. This is a perfect tribute to the silver bullion coin’s gold brother – and one which makes the coin much more affordable to a larger number of collectors than a pure gold version would.
In addition, the new coin will have a highly limited mintage of just 5,000 coins. The first coin of the set, issued last year in 2018, sold out before even being released in the United States!
The 2019 incuse silver piece is only the second coin of its type from the Royal Canadian Mint. Incuse coins were first issued in ancient Greece, and by the early 20th century this approach was featured on circulating $2.50 and $5 Indian gold coins designed by Bela Pratt Lyon that were designed to reduce the normal wear from circulation by sinking the design elements into the coin’s surface.
Incuse striking worked for the gold coins because they are a softer metal, although at the time many people had concerns about dirt and germs accumulating in the incuse part of the Indian gold coins. To do this in silver was much more challenging and was only accomplished through the Royal Canadian Mint’s (RCM) advanced minting technologies.
The 2019 release features on its reverse side, a design of the Maple Leaf that is incuse and gold plated, and struck in a reverse proof finish, along with inscriptions for the country, metal, weight, and purity in English and French.