The official bullion coin series of the Royal Canadian Mint and the Canadian nation, the Canadian Maple Leaf is one of the world’s most popular coin programs. Introduced for the first time in 1979 as the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, these were the first coins in the world to rival the South African Krugerrand in terms of gold bullion demand. No other gold coin, aside from the Krugerrand, had ever been offered strictly for investment purposes.
The obverse of all Canadian Maple Leafs, whether struck in silver, gold, platinum or palladium feature the right-profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. On the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, three different incarnations of Her Majesty’s profile have appeared. These include the following used to date:
- 1979 to 1989 – The image of a 39-year-old Queen Elizabeth II.
- 1990 to 2004 – A depiction of Queen Elizabeth II at 64 years of age.
- 2005 to Present – Susanna Blunt’s depiction of Her Majesty at the age of 79.
The reverse of all Canadian Maple Leaf coins features the image of the sugar maple leaf. Used on the reverse since the introduction of the gold version in 1979, this image has never changed. The only additions have been security measures, notably radial lines and a microscopic maple leaf privy.