Canadian 50 Dollar Gold Coin

Posted - September 15, 2023
canadian 50 dollar gold coin

Canadian Gold Coins have been some of the world’s most popular coins for decades. Its 1 oz denomination carries a face value of 50 CAD. Some investors refer to the coin as a Canadian 50 dollar gold coin. In this guide, we’re taking a look at why this coin has become so popular. How much is a Canadian 50 dollar gold coin worth? How high is investor demand for these coins? 

The Royal Canadian Mint has long been among the most respected mints in the world. Initially founded as a subsidiary of the renowned British Royal Mint, the Royal Canadian Mint pays homage to its British past by including Britain’s current monarch on the obverse of their national coins. But make no mistake – the Royal Canadian Mint is no longer owned by Great Britain, and the precious metal coin manufacturer has won their own reputation as a formidable force on the bullion market. 

They owe their success, at least in part, to the explosive popularity of the Canadian 50 dollar gold coin. Since its inception in 1979, the piece has remained a pillar for gold investors everywhere. The coin’s brilliant and culturally-relevant designs pair excellently with its exceptional fineness to create a coin that can’t help but captivate. Consider this your basic introduction to the coveted Canadian 50 dollar gold coin. 

Design and Specifications 

Before we can discuss investment prospects for the Canadian 50 dollar gold coin, it’s important to take a look at the piece’s design and specifications. After all, part of the reasons these coins remain so popular is their beauty. We couldn’t imagine the Canadian Gold Maple dominating the global gold trade without the exceptional designs that it offers. Below, we’ll take a deep dive into the coin’s design and specifications, including its design elements, dimension and weight, gold content, design variations, and notable features. 

Coin Design Elements

We explained at the beginning of this guide that the Royal Canadian Mint features Britain’s ruling monarch on the obverses of all of its coins. As of 2023, the Canadian 50 dollar gold coin highlights Queen Elizabeth II. This is likely to change in 2024, given the coronation of King Charles III, Britain’s newest royal leader. The 2023 Canadian Gold Maple includes Queen Elizabeth’s reign (1952-2022) beside her visage on the obverse, suggesting that this might very well be the last image of Elizabeth II we see on the Canadian 50 dollar gold coin. 

2023 1 oz Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin Queen
2023 1 oz Canadian Gold Maple

Throughout the lifespan of the coin, the monarch’s depiction has shifted. As she ages, new portraits are created to commemorate her current appearance. In the latest 2023 Canadian Gold Maple, the obverse features an aged Elizabeth II; she wears pearl earrings, as well as a pearl necklace. 

While the obverse of the Canadian 50 dollar gold coin changes depending on Britain’s current monarch and their age, the reverse has remained largely static. You’ll find a large maple leaf, Canada’s national symbol. The maple’s detail is one small reason behind the success of the Canadian 50 dollar gold coin. You can make out each of the veins on the face of the maple leaf, and the Royal Canadian Mint’s intricate radial line background helps the depiction to stand out even more than usual. 

Dimensions and Weight

Offering a mass of exactly one troy ounce and a diameter of 30 millimeters, the Canadian 50 dollar gold coin is the picture of attention to detail. Minted with precision at the Royal Canadian Mint facility in Ottawa, each Canadian 50 dollar gold coin is consistent in both size and overall shape. 

Purity and Fineness

The Canadian 50 dollar gold coin was minted using a purity of .999 from 1979 until 1982, when its fineness was increased to .9999. As bullion experts will note, .9999 is generally considered the limit for how pure classic gold coins can be minted. While the Royal Canadian Mint has pioneered technology to allow them to create impressive “five-nines” Gold Maples with a purity of .99999, we find that most investors are impressed with the .9999 purity that characterizes most of their Canadian 50 dollar gold coins. 

Design Variations Over the Years

Good news for fans of the maple leaf: the reverse-side depiction of Canada’s national symbol remains nearly identical throughout the lifespan of the Canadian 50 dollar gold coin. The obverse, however, has changed consistently throughout the years in order to better represent the current age of Britain’s monarch. While the person featured on the Canadian Gold Maple (Queen Elizabeth II) has remained static throughout the entire minting run, her depiction shifts as she grows older. 

From 1979 until 1989, the Queen was depicted using a portrait from when she was 39 years old. The design changed in 1990, when she was replaced with a 64-year-old version of herself. The final change happened in 2005, when Queen Elizabeth was depicted as being 79. We predict that the Royal Canadian Mint will feature a new person on the obverse of their Canadian 50 dollar gold coins moving forward. King Charles III’s coronation happened in 2023, so it’s likely that mints who celebrate British monarchs on their coins will adjust to commemorate the country’s new king next year. 

Notable Design Features

We’ve covered the basics of how Canadian 50 dollar gold coins look, but appearance isn’t where the Royal Canadian Mint stops. On the reverse, these coins also include a radial background and a micro-engraved security feature. By magnifying over the privvy mark, which is a small maple leaf, you’ll find the year of minting displayed. These small security features go a long way when it comes to deterring would-be counterfeiters from scamming consumers. 

Canadian $50 Gold Coin Series

The longstanding annual release tradition of the Canadian 50 dollar gold coin makes it one of the world’s most popular coin series. Below, we’re going to discuss several of the main reasons why this coin has retained popularity as a series over the past four decades. 

Different Series Available

Denominational sizes are a great tool for investors who want to expand their portfolios without overspending. Since 1982, the Canadian 50 dollar gold coin has been available in several fractional denominations, including ½, ¼, and 1/10 oz. The 1/20 oz Canadian Maple was released in 1993 and has been produced yearly since. In 2014, the Royal Canadian Mint unveiled their newest addition, the 1 gram Gold Maple. 

2023 1/10 oz Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin
1/10 oz Canadian Gold Maple

Collectors who are working on a small budget should be excited about this aspect of the Canadian 50 dollar gold coin. You should know that lower weights also come with lower fiat denominations. In other words, a 1/10 oz Canadian Maple won’t have a face value of $50 CAD – this coin’s face value is actually only $5 CAD. Regardless of face value, investors love the idea of fractional coins, because they offer a higher degree of liquidity and don’t force you to sell $2,000 in gold at once when it’s time to cash out. 

Iconic Themes

The inclusion of the Canadian maple leaf on the reverse of the Canadian 50 dollar gold coin is a time-honored tradition. We won’t bore you too much with a history lesson here. However, it is important to note that the maple leaf not only appears on the Canadian flag, but was also one of the first food sources that Canada’s initial settlers found. For this reason, the maple leaf is an important and iconic symbol, representing the beautiful landscape of Canada and the resilient nature of its people. 

Collecting Opportunities

2023 presents a unique collecting opportunity for investors who have had their eyes on the Canadian 50 dollar gold coin. Because the coronation of King Charles III happened earlier this year, it’s likely that the 2024 Canadian Gold Maple will be the first in nearly four decades to feature an obverse portrait that doesn’t include Queen Elizabeth II. The new “King Type” maple coins usher in a new era for the coins, which haven’t seen an obverse design change since their initial release in 1979. 

Will Queen Maples become more valuable in the future? It’s hard to say. For some investors, collecting the last Canadian 50 dollar gold coin to commemorate Queen Elizabeth is an excellent opportunity for potential value appreciation, as these coins will likely never be released again. 

Rarity and Availability 

Gold Maple Coins are not particularly rare. Generally, the Royal Canadian Mint produces more than enough of these coveted gold coins to go around. During some years, minting numbers may be lower than others. This means that coins from these years may hold additional numismatic value because of their rarity. For the most part, however, these coins are traded at premium because of their beauty and popularity – not because they’re rare. 

Coins from the Canadian 50 dollar gold coin series should be kept and secured in near-perfect condition. Generally, the high mintage numbers for these coins means that investors can afford to be picky. We rarely see non-BU Canadian 50 dollar gold coins selling for a premium on the open market. 

Investment Potential 

Are you thinking about investing in Canadian 50 dollar gold coins? If you are, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. Below, we’ll take a look at gold as an investment, collector vs. bullion value, general market trends, factors influencing value, and expert opinions on investing in $50 gold coins. 

Gold as an Investment 

Gold is a great way to diversify your portfolio. In addition to providing a bulwark against the ravages of inflation, gold can function as a diversifying element in your existing collection. Still, gold is not a foolproof investment vehicle. Gold prices can be volatile, increasing or decreasing with little notice. While some investors shy away from gold for this reason, others consider it a strength. For savvy collectors who learn to time the market, gold can be a great way to manage your finances and secure a carefree economic future. 

Collector Vs. Bullion Value

Canadian 50 dollar gold coins are traded primarily for their precious metal content. The 50 dollar variation contains exactly one troy ounce of pure gold. Its base value is therefore determined by the current spot price of gold. But this isn’t the only thing that influences the value of a Canadian Gold Maple. These coins are also sold at a premium to collectors, and this premium can depend on condition, rarity, and general market sentiment. 

Market Trends

Market trends for gold affect the value of a Canadian 50 dollar gold coin. These pieces will become more valuable when the price of gold increases, and they’ll get cheaper when prices fall. Learning to monitor and track market trends in the gold sector is a great way to become a more intelligent and safe investor. 

Canadian 50 Dollar Gold Coin
1/2 Canadian Gold Maple

Factors Influencing Value

Several factors influence the value of Canadian 50 dollar gold coins. We covered the main one, gold’s spot price, above. But your coin’s condition, rarity, and even its year can also impact how valuable it might be on the open market. There are also a couple of factors that are harder to predict. Market sentiment and numismatics aren’t as easily tracked as gold’s spot price, so some investors may struggle to figure out the best time to sell their Canadian 50 dollar gold coins. 

Expert Opinions on $50 Gold Coins 

Always consult expert opinions before spending your money on a new gold product. While Hero Bullion’s investing guides are a great place to start, you might also consider reaching out to your financial advisor for more customized advice. For the most part, financial experts who are bullish on gold tend to recommend the Canadian 50 dollar gold coin. The piece holds both precious metal and numismatic value, making it a fantastic choice for diversification purposes. 

Final Thoughts: Canadian 50 Dollar Gold Coins

Why is the Canadian Gold Maple so popular? The coin’s intricate and culturally significant designs, history of excellence, and security features help to make it one of the world’s most coveted gold coins. 

Hero Bullion is happy to help you find the right Canadian 50 dollar gold coins for your collection. If you have any questions about this fascinating coin from our neighbors to the North, don’t hesitate to reach out. 

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About The Author

Michael Roets is a writer and journalist for Hero Bullion. His work explores precious metals news, guides, and commentary.