The Canadian Maple Leaf silver coin is second in popularity only to the American Silver Eagle. In fact, many believe that its higher silver content and finer design make it the most desirable silver coin on the market. It is minted annually and is released by the Canadian Government. Whether you live in Canada, the US, or somewhere else in the world, this coin will have the value of instant recognition.
The obverse of the Maple Leaf is not its most popular feature. This side of the coin depicts Queen Elizabeth II. Though this placement alone will remain the same from issue to issue, there were some slight variations over time. These variations include a young, middle-aged, and older head version. In addition to the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, the obverse also includes the year of issue and value of the coin, which is set at $5 Canadian.
On the reverse side of the Maple Leaf is an illustration of its namesake, a grand Maple Leaf in sharp detail. This is the element of the coin that has made it so treasured in the world of silver coins. When you have one of these coins in your hand, the extreme detail will become immediately apparent and is one of the factors that separates it from other nationally minted coins.
The Silver Maple Leaf is no different from most other silver coins of the world in that its initial production began in the 1980s, 1988 to be exact. The first year of release saw around 1,000,000 coins minted and made available for distribution. This number would be inflated for a few years until it settled into lower figures for much of the 1990s.
Throughout the years, many variations and special editions of the coin have been created. These include colored designs, commemorative coins remembering the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada, and 20th Anniversary coins.
One of the unique elements of the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf is found in how they are packaged and distributed. Most coins are sent in tubes of 20, but the Silver Maple Leaf is packed in tubes of 25. This was done in an attempt to most effectively meet the increased demand for the coin over time.
As is the case with most silver coins, production was ramped up in the late 2000s, with each year from 2006 through 2010 seeing higher and higher quantities. While there was around 500,000 to 1 million produced in the 90s and early 2000s, 2006 saw 2.5 million and 2010 broke records with nearly 18 million minted. The new 2015 Silver Maple Leaf will be released in January 2015 and is expected to see similar mintage numbers.
The Maple Leaf has been experiencing exponential gains in both volume available, demand, and overall popularity in the secondary markets. One of the biggest reasons that it has found so much demand is in its natural quality. It is very common for these coins to actually surpass the 1 oz listed weight, if only by a fraction. Plus, its 99.99% designations sets it apart from most silver coins where the silver content is 99.9%. These small factors combine to make one big difference in the quality of the coin, making it a tremendous value for buyers.