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Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin History
By Ben Harmon

Since the late 1970s, Canadian gold mines have been responsible for one of the most coveted of all collectible bullion coins: the Canadian gold Maple Leaf. It’s not that Canadian mining history started in the 1970s. But it’s during this decade, that coin collectors first took note of the country’s thriving mining industry. That’s because in 1979, the Royal Canadian Mint first introduced its gold Maple Leaf coin. These coins gave a boost to mining history because they featured such a high level of bullion content. This gold purity level has resulted in the Maple Leaf being one of the most highly sought bullion coins in the world.

The Canadian gold Maple features a high purity of .9999 millesimal fineness. If you’re not a coin expert, this makes the Maple Leaf coin one of the world’s purest. The coin’s gold content is equal to 24 carats. This means that the Canadian gold Maple Leaf coin contains virtually no base metals. Its content consists almost entirely of gold. And this gold, of course, comes from Canada’s many gold mines. It’s little wonder, then, that Canadian gold mining history is so important to this country. The gold Maple Leaf coins were an instant hit among collectors back in 1979. Part of the reason is that at the time, the only available bullion coin was the South African Krugerrand. This coin, though, was not widely available in many countries in the West because of their economic boycotts against South Africa and its policy of apartheid.

Today, the mines supply the gold used to make Maples in several sizes. Collectors can find the coin in 1/20-ounce, 1/10-ounce, 1/4-ounce, 1/2ounce and 1-ounce denominations. The Royal Canadian Mint, again relying on gold found in the country’s busy gold mines, even produced a $1-million gold Maple Leaf coin. Though this coin was minted merely as a way to boost the mint’s publicity, it, too, turned out to be popular among high-end collectors. Today, the mint has pledged to make as many of these $1-million gold coins as collectors want. Give credit, again, to the high gold purity level of the coin, and to all the gold found in Canadian gold mines. Canadian mining history is without a doubt tied closely to the gold Maples. Without the coin, few collectors outside of the country would pay much attention to Canadian mining history. With it, the mines in Canada have become some of the most treasured to coin collectors.

Ben Harmon collects and trades gold bullion coins. He’s particularly interested in the intricacies of the canadian maple leaf gold coin and Krugerrands.

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