Silver Maple Leaf is 30 years old and the mint celebrates with limited bullion variants

First launched in 1988, the Silver Maple Leaf (SML) has gone on to become the second best selling silver bullion coin on the market, tailing just behind the American Silver Eagle (ASE). A clean and simple design, depicting just a maple leaf against a plain background, the coin has remained relatively unchanged to this day. That isn’t a good selling point for collectors, so the Royal Canadian Mint has produced countless low-mintage variants over the years to spark renewed interest, from reverse-proof versions through to seemingly countless privy marks.

With 2018 being the 30th anniversary, the RCM has decided to mark the event with new variants in bullion form, rather than just as expensive proof issues. Two new coins have debuted this month that fit that brief. As you’d expect, they’re sold in tubes of 25 or monster boxes of 500 pieces, although collectors will have zero problems picking up a single piece of either. Both will undoubtedly carry a slightly higher premium than the standard coin.

First up, our favourite, is the double incused version. An incused coin has the design struck into a coin face, instead of standing proud as is usually the case. This isn’t an overly ambitious work, but it does look great and the incused effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse is a mint first. The radial ‘starburst’ of background lines remains, as does the mints mini-maple security mark, seen here just above the OZ inscription. Both make counterfeiting more difficult and fakes easier to spot. This one is available now.

The second coin is a much busier affair, although a traditional strike. Again, the starburst lines and security ‘DNA’ privy are present and correct, but this time a large number 30 is intertwined with the leaf – a nod to the coins birthday. Back in 2013 the mint did something similar with the number 25, so this one isn’t a new concept. This coin actually carries the ‘1988-2018’ date, which was lacking in the 2013 coin and is a neat touch. While this one is a bigger departure from the norm than the incused coin, it lacks that inate elegance that marks out this industry staple design. Available any time now, we’ve yet to have the 250,000 mintage confirmed as the RCM release made no mention of it.

DENOMINATION $5 Canadian $5 Canadian
COMPOSITION 0.9999 silver 0.9999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 31.1 grams
DIAMETER 38.00 mm 38.00 mm
FINISH Bullion Bullion
MODIFICATIONS Incused strike None
MINTAGE 250,000 250,000 TBC
BOX / COA No / No No / No