The world’s most popular platinum coin should come as no surprise to those who regularly invest in precious metals. The Canadian Maple Leaf Series was the first bullion collection to challenge the dominance of the South African Gold Krugerrand when it debuted in 1979. From there, the Royal Canadian Mint set one benchmark after another in the precious metals industry. Its 1988 debut of the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf marked the first-ever .9999 pure silver bullion coin. That same year, the Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf debut as an annual-release coin.
Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf Coins were beat to market only by the Australian Platinum Platypus (1987), but the latter coin doesn’t have the name recognition internationally that the Canadian Maple Leaf Series enjoys. In 2012, the Platinum Maple Leaf coin earned the honors as “world’s best-selling platinum coin.” Learn all about this iconic platinum coin now!
The Platinum Maple Leaf coin was introduced for sale on November 17, 1988 from the Royal Canadian Mint. The original series of Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf coins included four different denominations in the first two years. The initial coin offerings included a 1 oz platinum coin accompanied by three fractional weights of ½ oz, ¼ oz, and 1/10 oz. The first major addition was the 1/20 oz coin in 1993, with a one-time issuance of a 1/15 oz coin coming in 1994.
From 1988 until 2002, the Royal Canadian Mint issued the Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf coins on an annual basis. However, an increased interest in platinum in various other industries from healthcare to automotive drove platinum prices rapidly higher. As a result of those sky-high prices in the early 21st century, demand for platinum coins began to cool significantly. The Royal Canadian Mint cancelled the collection in 2003 and would not produce another Platinum Maple Leaf until 2009. Though it remains in production today amid rising demand for and scarcity of platinum, the Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf is now available only as a 1 oz coin.
Like all other Canadian Maple Leaf coins from the Royal Canadian Mint, the Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf Coin features the same obverse and reverse designs of its gold, silver, and palladium counterparts. On the obverse of the Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf coin is the right-profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Created by Susanna Blunt in 2003, this design is the fourth-generation effigy of Her Majesty on Canadian coinage and the first since George VI to feature a monarch without the crown.
Depending upon the year of issue on the Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf you purchase, you could find one of three different portraits of Queen Elizabeth II. The aforementioned fourth-generation design features on 1 oz coins issued since 2009 (available on Canadian coinage in general since 2003). The original Canadian Platinum Maple Leafs issued between 1988 and 2002 include either the second-generation design in circulation from 1965 to 1989, or the third-generation portrait used from 1990 to 2002 which was the first created by a Canadian artist (Dora de Pedery-Hunt).
The reverse of the Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf coins features the sugar maple leaf. The iconic symbol of Canada for nearly 300 years, the sugar maple leaf depicted here was created in 1979 by Walter Ott for the debut of the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins. Engravings on this face include “Canada,” “9995,” and “Fine Platinum 1 oz Platine Pur.” Modern Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf coins have the laser-etched maple leaf privy mark on the reverse with a year of issue visible under magnification, and precise radial lines in the background field.
All Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf coins feature 1 Troy oz of .9995 pure platinum with a face value of $50 (CAD) backed by Canada’s federal government. The coins are available in individual protective plastic or mint tubes of 10 coins. Though no longer available, you can still find ½ oz, ¼ oz, and 1/10 oz coins dated 1988 to 2002 available to purchase online and 1/20 oz coins dated 1993 to 2002 as well.
Those fractional-weight coins had a face value proportional to their weight and the value of the 1 oz coin. These fractional coins had face values in descending order of $20, $10, $5, and $1 (CAD).
If you’re looking to buy Canadian platinum, please feel free to reach out to JM Bullion. Our customer service team can assist you at 800-276-6508, online using our live chat, and via our email address.