The Canadian Maple Leaf Bullion Series from the Royal Canadian Mint is a true global trendsetter in the precious metals market. The 1979 debut of the gold coins in this series marked the first issue of a gold bullion coin to challenge the South African Krugerrand. The 1988 debut of the silver and platinum coins introduced both the first-ever .9999 pure silver coin, and what would become the first widely available platinum bullion coin.
When the Canadian Maple Leaf Platinum Coin was introduced in 1988, it was the second major platinum bullion coin behind only the Australian Platypus introduced a year earlier in 1987. However, the Canadian Maple Leaf would go on to enjoy much higher mintages and a greater global audience.
The Platinum Maple Leaf coin was first offered for sale by the Royal Canadian Mint on November 17, 1988. The initial series of Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf coins featured four different denominations in the first two years, consisting of 1 oz, ½ oz, ¼ oz, and 1/10 oz coins. In 1993, a 1/20 oz coin was introduced, and in 1994, a one-time release of a 1/15 oz coin was made.
From 1988 to 2002, the Royal Canadian Mint issued the Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf coins annually. However, rising platinum prices driven by increased demand in various industries, including healthcare and automotive, led to a cooling of demand for platinum coins in the early 21st century. Consequently, the Royal Canadian Mint discontinued the collection in 2003 and did not produce another Platinum Maple Leaf until 2009. Presently, in response to growing demand and platinum scarcity, the Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf is only available as a 1 oz coin and remains in production.
The Canadian Maple Leaf Bullion Series is one of the few collections in the world to feature a standardized, static design on both sides over the course of its history. All coins in the collection, including the Canadian Maple Leaf Platinum Coin, come with the 1979 depiction of the sugar maple leaf as created by Walter Ott on the reverse.
For the obverse of the Canadian Maple Leaf Platinum Coin, the coins always feature a bust of the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. However, this is where the program has shown some variation in design as the portraits of the monarchs change with time:
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