Canadian Maple Leaf Coins
The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf is the official bullion gold coin of Canada and is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. The brainchild of Walter Ott, it is one of the purest gold coins of regular issue in the world, with a gold content of .9999 millesimal fineness (24 carats), with some special issues .99999 fine. That is, it contains virtually no base metals at all—only gold, from mines in Canada.
The coin was introduced in 1979. At the time the only bullion coin was the Krugerrand, which was not widely available because of an economic boycott of apartheid-era South Africa. Coins minted between 1979 and 1982 have gold content of .999.
The coin is offered in 1⁄20 oz, 1⁄10 oz, 1⁄4 oz, 1⁄2 oz, and 1 oz denominations and is guaranteed to contain the stated amount (in troy ounces) of .9999 fine gold (24 carat). The coins have legal tender status in Canada for the face values of these coins ($1, $5, $10, $20 and $50) which is subject to the Canadian Currency Act in association with the Royal Canadian Mint Act.
Starting in 1988, Maple Leaf coins have also been struck in .9995-fine platinum, having the same weights and face values as the gold coins. Since 1988, a one ounce .9999-fine silver Maple Leaf has also been struck, with a face value of $5. In 2005, a .9995-fine palladium Maple Leaf 1 oz coin was introduced, with a face value of $50.
On May 3, 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint unveiled a Gold Maple Leaf coin with a face value of $1 million, though the gold content was worth over $2 million at the time. It measures 50 cm in diameter by 3 cm thick and has a mass of 100 kg, with a purity of 99.999%. The artist is Stanley Witten. The coin is mainly a promotional product to give the mint a higher international profile.
The hundred-kilogram coin was conceived as a one-off showpiece to promote the mint's new line of 99.999 per cent pure one ounce Gold Maple Leaf bullion coins but after several interested buyers came forward the mint announced it would manufacture them as ordered and sell them for between $2.5 million and $3 million. As of May 3, 2007 (2007 -05-03) there were five confirmed orders.
[Source: Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_maple_leaf]