In it’s first 25 years of being on sale, the design has remained the same, except for the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse which is on it’s third incarnation, the latest being the ubiquitous Susannah Blunt profile. The SML is minted with one troy ounce (31.11 grams) of 0.9999 fine silver (the purest on the market), and has a face value of $5, the highest face value on the market for any comparable silver bullion coin.
|5 DOLLARS (CND)
All 1-ounce 99.99% pure SML Bullion coins produced for 2014 and beyond will have two new and unique features for enhanced security. Firstly, a new finish formed of complex radial lines and secondly, a micro-engraved laser mark.
The radial lines have been precisely machined to within microns on the master tooling to ensure consistent die production and coin striking. The specific width and pitch of the lines radiating from the coin’s central maple leaf design create a light-diffracting pattern which is unique to the Mint’s “next generation” SML and unmatched by both competing bullion products and, we would assume, counterfeiters. The laser-produced micro-engraving of a textured maple leaf incorporating the numeral “14” to denote the coin’s year of issue – a technology also found on the Mint’s Gold Maple Leaf bullion coin and its award-winning 2012 $1 and $2 circulation coins, will certainly make counterfeiting both extremely difficult and uneconomically. We’d not be surprised to see this kind of technique applied to other major bullion coins. CIT have already introduced a system on their new major releases, as they’ve also suffered from this.
The obverse of the Silver Maple Leaf has always carried the profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, but there have been three incarnations of it.
From 1988-1989 the coin carried the Arnold Machin RA portrait, an image also used in slightly modified form on British stamps since 1967. It’s considered to be one of the most widely reproduced images in history.
From 1990 until 2003, the superb Raphael Maklouf-like portrait by Dora de Pedery-Hunt, a Hugarian-Canadian sculptor, was used.
In 2004 after winning a nationwide competition against eight other artists, the Royal Canadian Mint chose a new portrait by Susanna Blunt to put on the obverse of all its coins, including the Maple. It remains in use today.
[tabel caption=”” width=”1100″ colwidth=”50|70|50|70|50|70″ colalign=”right|right|right|right|right|right”][tabel file=”http://agaunews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Silver-Maple-Mintages-1988-2019.csv”][/tabel]