According to the ‘APMEX Top 40’ products, the Maple Leaf ranks right up with there with bullion staples such as the American Eagle, Buffalo, and South African Krugerrand.
Ignoring fractional coins and getting to the heart of which basic types are most commonly bought and sold at APMEX, we’re left with the following list:
- Gold American Eagle
- Gold (American) Buffalo
- Gold Canadian Maple Leaf
- Gold South African Krugerrand
- Gold Austrian Philharmonic
- Australian Gold Kangaroo
- Gold Austrian/Hungarian 100 Corona AGW .9802
- Gold French 20 Franc Rooster AGW .1867
- Gold Swiss 20 Franc AGW .1867
- Gold British Sovereign AGW .2354
So how has the Maple Leaf managed to keep its position near the top, just under the US Mint’s offerings?
Reputation and familiarity no doubt are factors that account for the continued success of the Maple Leaf.
Another popular choice, the Krugerrand, was the first gold bullion coin produced in an exact 1-ounce size (1967), making it ideal for trade. South Africa’s first competitor was the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) when the Maple Leaf was released in 1979.
Unmatched purity is an additional factor explaining the popularity of the Maple Leaf. Competitors such as the Krugerrand and American Eagle are 91.67% fine.
The RCM raised the bar with the Maple Leaf. Coins minted between 1979 and 1982 have a gold content of .999, and this spec was improved to .99999 fine.