The Royal Canadian Mint continues to be, not only one of the most prolific, but also one of the most innovative mints worldwide. From the Elizabeth Rose silver dollar coin(which used selective rose gold cladding) to the more recent Star Trek Delta Insignia gold coin(which was the world's first delta-shaped coin). Another example of this sort of innovation in numismatics is the 2016 $20 Canadian Maple Leaf pure silver coloured coin.
This is certainly one of the more eye-catching offering that we are likely come across this year. As the name might imply, the coin itself is shaped as the most enduring symbol of Canadian national pride the world over – the maple leaf.
The reverse of the coin has received a colour finish to more closely mimic the vibrant reds, yellows and orange of the silver maple leaf during the autumn months. The delicately reproduced shape of the leaf's palmate lobes in combination with the overall attention to detail, results in a unique coin with lasting eye appeal. The denomination is noted on the reverse “20 DOLLARS”, with the date “2016” appearing just below flanked by two engraved big maple leaves.
The attention to detail is not forgotten on the obverse of the coin, as it so often is with numismatic items such as this. Veins can be seen spreading throughout the leaf's three upper and two basal lobes, to truly mimic the appearance of a silver maple leaf. Superimposed on top of this are the Susanna Blunt effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II and the legend that surrounds her on all sides. “ELIZABETH II” and “D.G. REGINA” to the left and right and “CANADA” across the upper lobe.
The irregularly shaped coin measures 42mm x 43mm(1.65 and 1.69inches) and at the stated 31.5grams of pure 99.99% silver weighs slightly more than 1troy oz. The coin, designed by Maurice Gervais, has a limited mintage of 15000 coins. If the popularity of the previous maple leaf shaped coin, issued in 2015, is anything to go by then this coin is sure to sell fast.
The coin is supplied in a display case that is almost as unique as the coin itself. The case is made from a dark stained wood, again shaped like a maple leaf. The encapsulated coin sits in a fitted slot at the centre of the case that can be displayed in an upright position. It is sure to make not only a valuable addition to a coin collection but also an enticing conversation piece.
The only possible drawback would be the price. At $154.95 CAD it imposes a significant premium over other 1oz silver collectors coins. But given that the 2015 maple leaf shaped coin sold out in only two days, also adding the novelty factor into account, we doubt that that will pose much of a problem for the Royal Canadian Mint at the end of the day.