Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin vs Gold Krugerrand

Canadian Gold Maple Leaf vs. Gold Krugerrand: Is One a Better Buy?


Written by John Rothans

Dec 10, 2018

Everyone loves a compelling match-up. Coke vs. Pepsi. McDonald’s vs. Burger King. Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor. The list goes on.

That phenomenon extends to gold coins. Numismatists and novice precious metal buyers want to know, for example, how the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf stacks up against the South African Krugerrand.

We’ll find out now in three rounds comparing some of the most important qualities of today’s gold coins. We’ll kick things off with the basics, or as they say in boxing, the weigh-in!

Canadian Gold Maple Leaf vs. Gold Krugerrand

Quick Look Comparison

Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Gold Krugerrand
First Year Minted 1979 1967
Minting Facility  Royal Canadian Mint South African Mint
Available Weights 1 oz. 1 oz.
Monetary Face Value $50 None, but still legal tender
Karat/Fineness 24-karat/.9999 22-karat/.9167
Diameter/Thickness 30 mm/2.80 mm 32.77 mm/2.84 mm
Design (Obverse, Reverse) Maple Leaf, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Paul Kruger, Springbok
Designers Walter Ott Otto Schultz, Coert Steynberg

Round 1: Historical Significance

Before the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf was released in 1979, the South African Krugerrand was the only modern gold bullion coin available. The Krugerrand's .9167 gold content was an instant crowd pleaser! But upon its release, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf took the world by storm.

The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin holds the honor of being the first bullion coin to contain 1 ounce of .9999 gold. With .0832 more gold than the Krugerrand, the Canadian Maple Leaf offers the highest purity available for gold coins.

The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf has a lot to be proud of, but so does the Krugerrand!

The Krugerrand can proudly claim:

  • Status as the original modern bullion coin, first issued in 1967.
  • A solid run of dominance in the market, accounting for 90% of the global gold coin market by 1980.
  • An origin of purpose: to inspire more private gold ownership.

Round 2: Visual Appearance

While the Krugerrand and Canadian Gold Maple Leaf are each made with solid gold, their respective obverse and reverse sides bear artwork that lends each coin genuine distinction.

A portrait of former South African President Paul Kruger (who served as President from 1883 to 1900) appears on the Krugerrand's obverse side. The image beautifully expresses the former leader’s strength and determination—both of which are fitting since the image also captures Kruger’s facial hair, often referred to as a “lion’s mane.”

On the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, you’d be forgiven for overlooking the most distinguishing detail of its portrayal of British monarch—and staunch U.S. ally—Queen Elizabeth II. That detail? The crown that is not placed upon her head! The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf bears the fourth of the Queen’s portraits to grace Canadian coinage, but it's the first one to show her without a crown.

Both portraits are masterful. It’s the stunning intricacy of the maple leaf itself, though, that really makes the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin stand out. Despite the Krugerrand’s magisterial galloping springbok, the fine line work and remarkable precision of the maple leaf demands a close look every time. From its life-like speckling to the undulating waves rolling across it, the maple leaf looks perfect in gold.

Round 3: Worldwide Prestige

Both the South African Krugerrand and Canadian Gold Maple Leaf represent, in their production, a level of prestige which is almost breathtaking. Each gold coin in question:

  • Can serve as legal tender
  • Comprises a remarkable degree of gold purity
  • Comes from an esteemed minting facility
  • Adds distinction to any precious metal portfolio

There’s no surprise twist to the end of this matchup. This prestige applies not just to one of these coins, but to both of them.

The Match-up Winner?

The Gold Krugerrand and the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf have something to offer everyone, especially those who enjoy precious metals, coins, art, and history. The match-up winner depends on the coin characteristics you appreciate most.

In the end, both the South African Krugerrand and the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf are easy to buy and sell. They are both also respected in precious metals markets around the world. Learn more online and call 1-844-307-1589 to make them yours today!


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