Canadian Maple Leaf Bullion Coin
I know, I know. What could possibly be so special about a current bullion coin? It's not a commemorative edition or a reverse proof, and on top of that, the Royal Canadian Mint still makes them. You can find these coins pretty much anywhere silver bullion is sold. Despite all this, I love the Canadian Maple Leaf and find it worthy of a post.
Strength Through Security
The current Maple Leaf design first became available in 2014 and represents a huge leap forward in coin minting technology. A number of security features were added in order to stem counterfeiting. The goal of these features is to make it very difficult and expensive to replicate the outer surface of the coin, meaning special machinery is required to carry out the task, and the supply of this machinery is highly limited. The most apparent anti-counterfeiting measure added to the coin is a background of lines radiating outward from the center. These lines are etched with a laser controlled by a computer, ensuring that they are equally spaced and radiate from the true center of the coin, even though the center is covered by a graphic. There is also a laser-etched maple leaf on the reverse side that contains the year the coin was made. It can be seen in my image to the right of the stem on the maple leaf. Not only does the engraving process require high precision, but a proper minting press is required to ensure the design comes out flawlessly on the finished coin - there is no duplicating this in your garage with hand tools. Pictured below is the obverse of a 2013 Maple Leaf, note the lack of radial lines in the background.
Great Coin, Great Value
A coin that's difficult to counterfeit is definitely a plus, but the Maple Leaf still has more to love. These coins are made from .9999 fine silver, as opposed to the .999 silver that is commonly used in bullion coins. Mints often choose .999 silver because it is cheaper and less energy intensive to refine silver to that quality. Not only is this coin more pure than other bullion coins in its price range, but you actually get more silver for your money (0.027 grams to be precise). One would think that this would drive up the price of Maple Leaves beyond that of other silver bullion coins, however that assumption does not prove true. Maple Leaves are available online for a lower premium than the more popular American Silver Eagle, and are in my opinion a much better coin due to the purity of the silver and security features present. This price disparity is due to the high demand for American Silver Eagles, which are the go-to for investors looking to buy silver in 1 OZT increments. Between its low price, high security and extremely fine silver, the Maple Leaf is the bullion coin I recommend most to new investors.