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Canadian Maple Leaf coins are among the most recognizable precious metal coins in the world, and the Silver Maple Leafs are the most popular coin for both investors and collectors worldwide. A product of the Royal Canadian Mint, Silver Maple Leafs are the official silver bullion of Canada and their quality is guaranteed by the Canadian Government.
Here, you’ll learn everything you need to know about these fantastic coins.
Development, Introduction and History
Canadian Silver Maple Leafs were introduced in 1988 following the overwhelming success of the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf. The first year of release included nearly 1,000,000 coins, though in subsequent years that number would be reduced significantly to increase the rarity of the coin.
Canadian Silver Maple Leafs are packaged in tubes of 25 (most coins are placed into tubes of 20), making the purchasing of these coins somewhat unique.
All Canadian Maple Leaf coins are minted at the Royal Canadian Mint, whose main branch is located in Winnipeg. Like all bullion, Silver Maple Leafs contain a face value that is considered legal tender for transactional use. The RCM is world-renowned for its incredible quality and detailed in coin production, surpassing other national bullion coins in both silver content and beauty.
Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Characteristics
The front, or “obverse” design of a Silver Maple Leaf coin features an image of Queen Elizabeth II as designed by Susanna Blunt. There are actually three different versions of the British Monarch’s profile (young, mature and old) depending on the year of mintage. That year is displayed underneath her profile, and the name ELIZABETH II stretches across the top boundary.
The rear, or “reverse”, side contains one of the most recognizable images in the world of bullion, as well as the official national symbol of Canada: the Maple Leaf. The name CANADA lines the top of the reverse, along with the numbers 9999 on either side of the leaf image (depicting the .9999 fineness). Along the bottom stretches FINE SILVER 1 OZ ARGENT PUR.
There have been numerous small changes to the design of the Silver Maple Leaf since its introduction, including privy marks, holographic elements and special commemorative releases. The basic obverse and reverse designs, however, have remained constant.
The Royal Canadian Mint only standard issues 1-troy ounce versions of the Silver Canadian Maple Leaf. Silver Maple Leaf specifications include:
Mass: 31.103 g
Diameter: 37.97 mm
Thickness: 3.29 mm
Face Value: 5.00 Canadian dollars
All contain .9999 silver purity (99.99% silver or “pure” silver). Many other silver bullion coins are only produced at .999 silver purity, but the Royal Canadian Mint has always prided itself in the extreme purity of its coinage.
Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Pricing
Each Silver Maple Leaf coin carries a face value, or its transactional value when used as a currency. Canadian Maple Leaf bullion coins are considered legal tender in Canada, and their face value is dictated by law.
The face value is largely symbolic, however. The actual investment value of Silver Maple Leafs is typically much greater than the face value.
This is because the face value is completely unrelated to a coin’s intrinsic value, or value determined in the market. For Canadian Silver Maple Leafs, this value is primarily determined by the spot price of silver.
Silver prices fluctuate daily, and therefore the market prices for Canadian Silver Maple Leafs will fluctuate daily as well. Check out our home page for live metal pricing.
All Canadian Maple Leaf coins are valuable and sought after, however Silver Maple Leaf coins are unique in that they are often sold at prices well above their pure bullion value. This is in part due to overwhelming collector demand and a limited mintage. Numismatists hold Silver Maple Leafs in very high regard.
Investing in Canadian Maple Leaf Silver Coins Through an IRA
All Canadian Silver Maple Leafs are eligible to be placed inside of a self-directed IRA.
By placing real, physical silver inside of an IRA, investors add diversification to their portfolio that is independent of the fluctuations of stocks and bonds. Since the spot price of silver tends to be much lower than gold, silver can be a more affordable alternative hedge for those interested in precious metals.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows for specific types of IRAs to carry gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion in a portfolio. Sometimes referred to as a “precious metals IRA”, these IRA accounts may only contain bullion that meets the minimum purity requirements set forth by the IRS – such as Canadian Maple Leaf Silver Series coins. Investors must make a minimum initial purchase of $5,000 worth of approved metals to establish a precious metals IRA. Each subsequent purchase of bullion must be at least $1,000.
Additionally, when an investor makes a purchase of Silver Maple Leafs to add to an IRA, the IRS mandates that the metal be held in an approved precious metals depository. The depository is responsible for the safety and maintenance of the bullion.
Canadian Silver Maple Leaf bullion coins are available for purchase directly from the Royal Canadian Mint through their official website. International shipping may result in extra fees as your coins pass through customs. Additionally, collectors and investors can buy from dealers around the world, such as the American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX).
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