On 3 May 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint unveiled a Gold Maple Leaf coin with a nominal face value of $1 million and a metal value of over $2 million. It measures 50 cm in diameter by 3 cm thick and has a mass of 100 kg, with a purity of 99.999%. The artist is Stanley Witten.
The coin was introduced in 1979. At the time the only bullion coin was the Krugerrand, which was not widely available because of the economic boycott of apartheid-era South Africa. Coins minted between 1979 and 1982 have a gold content of .999.
Some dealers have complained about the production quality of the Gold Maples. The softness of 24 karat gold combined with the Gold Maples' milled edge, clear field around the Queen and the tube storage supplied, means that the coins easily show handling marks. This is a standard problem with pure gold.
As a way of commemorating 25 years as an industry leader in bullion coins, the Royal Canadian Mint created a unique six-coin set. It was a new bimetallic maple leaf, set in bullion finish (a brilliant relief against a parallel lined background). The six-coin set was the first to include the 1⁄25 oz Maple Leaf denomination. Each coin included a double-date of 1979–2004, and the 1 oz coin featured a commemorative privy mark. All coins were packaged in a black leather presentation case with a black velour insert, along with a certificate of authenticity.
The gold Maple Leaf coin was .999 pure until 1982, when its purity was raised to .9999. Some coins are issued at a purity of .99999; this standard does not replace the Mint's .9999 Gold Maple Leaf coins, but is instead reserved for special editions.
The Royal Canadian Mint and the International Olympic Committee have reached an agreement on Olympic Gold and Silver Maple Leaf coins. The announcement was made on August 3, 2007, and the agreement allows the RCM to strike bullion coins with the emblems of the 2010 winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. The issue will consist of two coins – one Gold Maple Leaf coin and a Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coin; both coins feature the date of 2008. The new agreement means that the RCM is now selling Olympic coins through all of its major business lines – bullion, circulation and numismatics.