Both the Maple Leaf and American Eagle are among the most widely traded gold bullion coins in the world. You can’t go wrong with either. Subtle differences based on preference and objective criteria may direct you towards one over the other.
The first and arguably most significant difference is purity. The Maple Leaf is .9999 pure gold, while the Eagle is .9167 and is the equivalent of 22kt gold.
On paper this makes the maple leaf appear to be the clear winner but purer isn’t always better depending on your preferences. The Maple Leaf is more prone to wear during handling because nearly solid gold is soft as metals go. This shouldn’t be an issue for most however because there is no reason to be handling bullion coins in the first place. If you wish to admire the design put it in coin capsule.
Although popular worldwide, clearly the American Eagle has a slight edge on U.S. soil when it comes to trading and desirability. The same is true of the Maple Leaf on Canadian soil. Internationally it’s extremely close although the Maple Leaf may be a touch better.
Premiums over spot will also very depending on your location. The difference may seem negligible but in finance every dollar counts, especially if you buy in one part of the world and sell in another.
American Gold Eagle Facts
This coin features the same stunning figure of Liberty as the Saint-Gaudens double eagle. Miley Busiek created the reverse design of a soaring eagle in 1986; the same year the American Gold Eagle was introduced.
Face value: $50 USD
Mass: 33.930 g (1.0909 troy oz)
Diameter: 32.70 mm
Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Facts
The reverse of the Maple Leaf was designed and first released in 1979. Obverse portrait of Queen Elizabeth II is consistent with current Canadian coinage.
Face value: $50.00 CAD
Mass: 31.1035 g (1 troy oz)
Diameter: 30.00 mm