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Geography of coins

Precious metals

In its Ottawa home, the Royal Canadian Mint operates one of the world’s most technically advanced refineries of gold and silver and markets a family of bullion coins, wafers and bars for investors.

In 1979, the Mint began producing its own branded bullion coins, all guaranteed by the Government of Canada for weight and purity. The purity, or “fineness,” of bullion coins is defined by the percentage of pure metal in the coin. A gold coin that is “9999 fine” contains 99.99 percent gold and 0.01 percent other metal.

The Mint’s bullion coins include:

Gold: Introduced in 1979, the Mint’s Gold Maple Leaf bullion coin is the world’s most popular pure gold coin. In 1982, the Mint was the first in the world to produce a 9999 fine gold bullion coin, and it outclassed its competition again in 2007 by releasing the world’s first bullion coin made of 99999 fine gold.

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Silver: The Mint’s first Silver Maple Leaf bullion coin was issued in 1988. With a face value of $5, the coin contains one troy ounce of 9999 fine silver, the highest purity available in a silver bullion coin.

Platinum and palladium: In 1988, the Mint introduced the Platinum Maple Leaf bullion coin, with a face value of $50. The Palladium Maple Leaf bullion coin, also with a face value of $50, was released in 2005. These popular one-troy-ounce bullion coins are made with 9995 fine platinum and palladium.

“The Million Dollar Coin”: The Mint drew worldwide attention in May 2007 when it unveiled the purest, largest and highest-denomination gold coin in the world: the 100-kilogram 99999 fine Gold Maple Leaf bullion coin, bearing a $1 million face value. This coin was certified by Guinness World Records to the world’s largest coin (This record was shattered, however, in the fall of 2011 when the Perth Mint in Australia introduced its 1,000-kilogram gold coin). Only five of the Mint’s “Million Dollar” coins were produced.


This slideshow outlines the Royal Canadian Mint’s bullion business: refining precious metals including gold, silver, palladium and platinum to create coins, wafers and bars for collectors and investors around the world.


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Medals and medallions

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Quiz :

What was the first bi-metallic coin produced by the Mint?

Silver Dollar
Commemorative quarter