This year (2012) marks the 100th anniversary of the issuance of Canada’s first national gold coins, the Canada Five Dollars and the Canada Ten Dollars. Both coins were made with a gold content of .900 (one nine fine), with the Canada Five Dollars having a weight of 8.36 grams and the Canada Ten Dollars weighing exactly twice as much.

Although gold coins had been circulated or minted (and then circulated) in Canada previous to 1912, the Canada Five and Ten Dollars were the first locally produced Canadian gold coins that were explicitly made legal tender only in Canada and that featured both the word “CANADA” and a distinctly Canadian symbology on their respective reverse faces. These two inaugural Canadian mint gold coins were issued only from 1912 to 1914 and were quickly taken out of circulation at the onset of  the First World War.


Canadian Maple Leafs

In 1979, sixty seven years after the first Canadian gold coins were circulated, the Royal Canadian Mint issued the first bullion gold coin of Canada and the first .999 (three nines fine or 24-karat) pure gold bullion coin in the world: the Canadian maple leaf gold coin series (officially designated as the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf).

From 1979 to 1981, this bullion coin was issued with a 1 oz (troy ounce) gold content (31.10 grams gold weight and 31.1030 grams total coin weight), and a $50 CAD face value. Fractional “sizes” (weights in troy ounces) below 1 oz were then issued by the Royal Canadian Mint starting in 1982. Moreover, the purity of this bullion specie was enhanced from .999 to .9999 (four nines fine) starting in 1983.

Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin

Canadian maple leaf gold coins can be purchased according to size, year of issue, commemorative themes, and so on. Canadian maple leaf gold coins come in six different sizes; namely, 1 oz, ½ oz, ¼ oz, 1/10 oz, 1/15 oz, and 1/20 oz. The price premium increases as the fractional size decreases; thus only the first four sizes (1 oz, ½ oz, ¼ oz, and 1/15 oz) can practically be classified as bullion (i.e., having a gold content that is more valuable than the coin’s denominational or face value).

The smaller the size, the more the collector or investor pays for the arbitrary price premium than for the actual value of the lower and progressively decreasing gold content (as compared with the 1-oz coin). The Canadian maple leaf gold coins are legal tender in Canada.  In 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint introduced the .99999 (five nines fine) pure Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin.


How Much Are Canadian Gold Coins Worth?

Canadian gold coin values range from less than $100 CAD to more than $1 million CAD depending on the type and from whom or from where they are purchased. A brief review of the Royal Canadian Mint website shows that the currently lowest priced Canadian gold coin sold in Canada is the 0.5 Fine Gold Coin – Cougar (issued in 2011). This Canadian mint gold coin has a face value of only 25 cents but it has a base price of around $79.95 CAD. There are only 15000 minted duplicates of this specie that are available for public sale.

The amount a gold coin can fetch is dependent on a number of factors such as the quantity minted, the actual gold content, the current price of gold and whether or not it has numismatic or collectable value, check out our post on the best gold coins to buy if you’re interested in learning more.

Currently most expensive Canadian gold coin according to the Royal Canadian Mint website are the Gold Kilogram Coin – 375th Anniversary of Lacrosse (issued in 2011) and the Gold Kilogram Coin – Year of the Dragon (issued in 2012). These coins cost $69,000 CAD each and weigh 1000 grams. They are .9999 pure and have a face value of $2500 CAD. Only 35 Lacrosse Anniversary coins and 38 Year of the Dragon coins have been offered for public sale.

The Royal Canadian Mint also fulfills orders, on a case-by-case basis, for the one-of-a-kind, 100-kg, .99999-pure Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin, which was supposed to be a one-off promotional specie for the .99999 pure series of Canadian maple leaf gold coins that were issued starting in 2007. This particular specie has a denominational value of $1 million CAD but it has a selling price from about $2 million to $3 million CAD. There are, so far, only five duplicates of this special-edition coin that have been sold. Canadian maple leaf gold coins are currently the best selling bullion gold coins in the world.


A Canadian Gold Coin For All Occasions

Other popular gold coins include the Canadian 50 dollar gold coin which can be the same as the Gold Maple and be .999 fine gold  or can be of .900 gold (21.6 karat) .  There are numerous other coins available in a variety of denominations such as the 100 dollar Canadian gold coin in a variety of years celebrating numerous events, nature and scenery, the $100 coins also come in a variety of karats such as 14k, 18k and 22k.

You will also find $1, $2, $5, $10, $20 and $200 gold coins. If you are interested in learning more about how to buy gold coins check out our starters guide.

Canadian Gold Coins

Left: $50 Gold Coin .900 gold | Right: $100 Canadian Gold Coin 22 karat

Comments are closed.