The maple leaf is a well-known symbol in Canada and is not only proudly featured on the National Flag but also has been appearing on Canadian coins since 1858.
The Royal Canadian Mint had a stroke of brilliance by using the Maple Leaf design on its highly sought-after $5 1oz. silver coin, which entered the bullion market in 1988. Over the years, this coin has become a lasting symbol in Canadian currency, with various special editions for collectors.
Considered some of the world’s finest official silver bullion, these $5 coins are made of 99.99% pure silver. Their value can fluctuate with the silver market, making them even more intriguing to collectors. But what sets these coins apart and makes them so popular?
The Maple Leaf Predates the Country of Canada
The story of the maple leaf as a symbol of prosperity in Canada predates the existence of the country of Canada itself. Indigenous tribes living on the land before the arrival of Europeans used the maple tree to make it through the long, harsh winters of the Northern Hemisphere.
What it comes down to is maple sap, which starts to flow when winter is over and spring starts to come around the bend. Indigenous peoples saw the sap as a sign that spring had arrived, and maple sugaring has an important place in their culture and mythology as a gift from the Creator. They celebrated the end of winter by consuming and cooking with this energizing, nourishing gift from the trees.
Today, through scientific analysis of maple sap, we know that Indigenous peoples’ belief in its healing and nourishing properties was accurate. Both maple syrup and maple water contain micronutrients, vitamins, and trace minerals that would have been very replenishing for someone who had been conserving their food supplies through a long winter.
Canadian silver maple leaf coins today give a nod to the people of the past and their culture that endures.
Maple Leaves in Canadian History
Beyond its use as a food product and its place in prehistoric cultures, the maple leaf has drawn many tourists for its brilliant red colour-changing in the autumn.
Canadian soldiers in the Great War wore the maple leaf to symbolize the land they were fighting for. This inspired Conn Smythe to name the Toronto hockey team The Maple Leafs when he acquired the team in 1927.
In the 1800s, Jacques Viger, the first mayor of Montreal, called the maple tree “the king of our forest… the symbol of the Canadian people.” Many organizations use the maple leaf in some capacity, and songs and poems have been written about it. It remained a fixture in Canada’s currency until 2013 when the 1-cent coin was withdrawn from circulation.
How to Buy Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Coins
The maple leaf design remains an important part of the Royal Canadian Mint’s production. One thing that makes these coins so valuable is their authenticity, which is sustained through the RCM’s Bullion DNA program.
The Bullion DNA program micro-inscribes a unique pattern into the security mark (a miniature maple leaf) on each silver maple leaf produced by the Mint. Due to the difficulty of counterfeiting this property, coins that have their unique bullion DNA “signature” can be guaranteed as official RCM mintage. Registered dealers are equipped with a scanner to look up the coin in the Mint’s database.
Over the years, the RCM has released different editions of Canadian silver maple leaf coins, including special commemorative additions and unique collectible variations, many of which you will find when you browse our online store at Colonial Acres. Adding an original or variant silver maple leaf coin to your collection – or investing in a tube or box – secures your possession of a piece of Canadian history with one of the world’s most popular silver bullion coins.