Your Guide to Buying Canadian Gold Coins
The Canadian gold coins are best known as the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf. Minted by the Royal Canadian Mint, they are among the world's purest, mass-produced bullion gold coins, with a gold content of 24 karats for all regular issues.
Having started production in 1979 with a 99.9% purity level, the Gold Maple Leaf bullion coins, in November 1982, became the world's first bullion coins to reach the heightened level of .9999 purity (99.99%). Ever since then, each regularly produced Gold Maple Leaf carries the same 4-nine hallmark.
Furthermore, in 1998, to demonstrate its expertise, craftsmanship, and can-do spirit, the Royal Canadian Mint produced a numismatic gold coin made from 5 nines fine gold(.99999 or 99.999%), the highest recognized level of purity till this day.
The 5-nine purity level does not replace the Mint's 4-nine, gold-coin standard, already universally recognized for its quality and purity setting and a benchmark other bullion coins are measured against.
Reserved only for special editions, over the years, the 5-nine purity was used a few times, including the unveiling of a 100-kilogram gold coin at that purity level, measuring 50 centimeters in diameter and being 3 centimeters thick, with a face value of $1 million. Later recognized by Guinness World Records to be the world's largest gold coin, the coin was initially a promotional product for the Mint, but at the end, there were five confirmed orders from interested investors, each sold between $2.5 to $3 million.
The 4 nines fine Canadian gold coins are available in 5 weights from one-twentieth of an ounce, one-tenth ounce, one-quarter ounce, one-half ounce, to one troy ounce. The gold used is exclusively from Canadian mines.
At 99.99% level, there is virtually no base metal in the gold content. Note, however, that a 100% pure gold is not possible. An absolute purity in gold extraction and refining can be achieved only asymptotically. The 4-nine Gold Maple Leaf bullion coins are all struck with their weight, gold purity level, and the hallmark of the Royal Canadian Mint, which guarantees the stated amount of .9999 find gold.
Although categorized as non-circulating coins, the Gold Maple Leaf bullion coins have legal tender status in Canada. The corresponding face values of these coins are $1, $5, $10, $20, and $50. A fifteenth-ounce coin in $2 face value was issued only for one year without success and is no longer in production.
Another problem for the Gold Maple Leaf is that the softness of 24-karat gold makes the coin easily show handling marks, especially in the clear field around the Queen's head on the obverse and along the coin's milled edge. But that's a standard issue with pure gold.
Like the U.S. Mint, the Royal Canadian Mint does not sell its gold coins directly to the general public. Gold investors wishing to buy the Gold Maple Leaf bullion coins can purchase them through banks, coin dealers, foreign exchange offices, and brokerage houses worldwide.
Prices of the gold coins are based on the gold market rates around the world that can vary daily, as well as the coins' supply and demand.
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