When most people think of Canada, the first image that comes to mind is that of a Maple Leaf. Because this iconic image is synonymous with Canada, it is no surprise that Royal Canadian Mint decided to make the Maple leaf the centerpiece for its marquis silver coin that was released in 1988.
Unlike other nations, who produced only silver or gold coins initially, Canada decided to mint gold, silver, and platinum versions of their Maple Leaf coin. The Platinum Maple Leaf is now one of the most popular and widely sought after coins in all of North America.
Because platinum is much rarer than gold or silver, the amount of countries producing these coins is drastically smaller than those producing silver, or even gold coins. The purpose of this article is to introduce you to the Platinum Maple Leaf, discuss its qualities, and even reveal how many of these coins are minted on an annual basis.
Platinum Maple Life Sizes
Like many varieties of coins that are produced throughout the world, Platinum Maple Leafs come in a variety of sizes. Something that is interesting about the Platinum Maple Leaf is that, at one point in time, it boasted some obscure sizes.
In 1988, the inaugural year for all varieties of Maple Leafs, the Royal Canadian Mint produced Platinum Maple Leafs in 1/10th, 1/4th, ½, and 1 ounce sizes. From smallest to largest, these coins had face values of $5, $10, $20, and $50 (Canadian Dollars).
Starting in 1993, things got more adventurous as both the 1/20, and 1/15 ounce versions of the Platinum Maple Leaf were released. The incredibly strange $2 face value 1/15 ounce coin was only produced for one year, and very few of them were made.
In more recent years the uncontested, most popular version of the Canadian Maple Leaf is the 1 ounce variety. This particular coin boasts a thickness of 2.62 mm, a diameter of 30 mm, and a face value of $50. As is the case with most platinum coins from around the world, the face values of these coins are inconsequential because the value of the platinum in the coin far exceeds what its face value is.
Purity and Production
The purity, or the amount of metal in a coin, is what really either keeps buyers away or draws them in. Platinum Canadian Maple Leafs are made of 99.95% pure platinum which means that there is almost no filler metal. The closer to 99.99% that the purity of a coin gets to, the more inherently valuable the coin.
Like we touched on a bit earlier, the Platinum Maple Leaf was first produced in 1988 just like every other type of Maple Leaf on the market. While silver and gold versions of the coin were minted in astronomically large quantities both then and now, Platinum Maple Leafs were produced more conservatively.
Since the 1/15 ounce version of the Platinum Maple Leaf was only produced in 1993, it is easily the rarest Maple Leaf out there. As time wore on the RCM phased out the production of a few of the other sizes and instead decided to focus production solely on the most popular version of the coin, the 1 ounce variety.