The Krugerrand vs. Maple Leaf Gold Coin

If you are interested in gold investing, you’ve heard of Krugerrands and Canada’s Maple Leaf Gold coin. The Krugerrand is by far the most popular gold bullion coin out there. But is it still a good investment? Let’s examine these two coins and see which one is the better deal.

The South African Krugerrand

The South African Krugerrand is among the most popular gold bullion coins globally. Known for its size and weight as an investment, it also attracts investors for its design. There are many reasons why people love investing in Krugerrands.

One of them is that they’re legal tender for South Africa, so you can use them to pay for goods and services there. Another reason people love them is that they’re made from gold mined from South Africa, meaning that when you invest in a Krugerrand, you know that part of your investment is tied directly to supporting local businesses and growing the local economy.

The History

The South African Krugerrand was first minted in 1967. It was created as a way for South Africa to keep its gold reserves in circulation and make them more accessible to investors. The coins were named after Paul Kruger, the president of South Africa during the 1800s.

The coin has undergone many changes over the years—but one thing has remained constant: its gold content. Today there are more than 40 million Krugerrands in circulation worldwide.

The Design

The coin’s design portrays Paul Kruger on one side and a springbok antelope on the other. The name “Krugerrand” comes from two words: Kruger and rand, which means “wreath” or “circle.” The coin’s name refers to its distinctive ringed edge.

The Features

The Krugerrand comprises one troy ounce of .9167 fine gold (which means it contains 91.67% gold). The coin weighs precisely one troy ounce and measures 32 millimeters across. Its design includes an image of Paul Kruger on one side and an image of a springbok antelope on the other.

The Purity

The Krugerrand has a fineness of .9167, containing 91.67% pure gold. The remaining amount is copper and silver, but these are present in small amounts that do not impact the coin’s purity.

The Canadian Maple Leaf

The Canadian Maple Leaf is a symbol of pride for the people of Canada. It is a beautiful site often seen flying in the breeze, found on the national currency, and displayed at various locations throughout this great nation. However, did you know that the maple leaf has its own story?

The History

The Canadian Maple Leaf is the official silver bullion coin of Canada. It was first released in 1988 by the Royal Canadian Mint and has been used as a symbol of national pride since then. The leaf on the coin is also one of Canada’s most recognizable symbols, as it appears on its flag.

In 1988, a new design was chosen for Canada’s silver bullion coins: a single leaf with its stem wrapped around an “L” shape at its center (representing “Liberty”). This design is still used today; however, in 2015, some changes were made to make it more difficult to counterfeit (like removing some details from the leaves).

The Design

The design on the front of the coin shows Queen Elizabeth II on her throne, holding an orb and scepter with maple leaves behind her. “Elizabeth II Canada” is written across the top of the coin in small letters. In contrast, “Canada” is written above the queen’s head in more giant letters below the words “Twenty Dollars” written across the bottom half of the face side of this coin.

The Features

The coin’s obverse side features Queen Elizabeth II’s profile, created by Susanna Blunt in 2003. The reverse side depicts a beautiful maple leaf with a small privy mark at the bottom to denote a specific year of mintage—one for each year from 1979 until now (2014).

The Purity

The purity of the Canadian Maple Leaf is 99.99% pure silver, with just 0.1% copper added as an alloy. This makes it one of the purest coins available on the market today.

Key Differences Between These Gold Bullion Coins

Both coins are considered legal tender with face values equal to their gold content; however, they differ in a few essential ways

The Krugerrand

  • Year of Minting July 3, 1967
  • Where it was minted South African Mint
  • Weight is 1.09 oz
  • Purity and fineness .9167
  • Designer Otto Schultz

Gold Maple Leaf

  • Year of Minting 1979
  • Where it was minted Royal Canadian Mint
  • Weight 1 oz
  • Purity and fineness .9999
  • Designer Walter Ott

Key Considerations for Investors

Here are some key considerations you should keep in mind before investing:

  • Price: The price of Krugerrands fluctuates depending on supply and demand, while Maple Leaf Gold Coins have a fixed price per ounce. Your Krugerrand investment can increase value over time if you hold onto it long enough. However, it will always sell for less than its face value because it’s only worth its weight in gold.
  • Designs: The Krugerrand features an image of Paul Kruger on one side and a springbok antelope on another side; both sides feature an inscription in English or Afrikaans (depending on how you want it).
  • Storage: Both coins are easily stored in a safe deposit box at your bank, but it’s best to keep them in a vault for security reasons. Some banks provide vaults for their customers, but if yours doesn’t, then you might have to pay extra for one.
  • Rarity: While many different types of Krugerrands are available today, they were once scarce coins only produced by one country: South Africa. This means that this may be an option if you’re looking for a collector’s item or something with historical significance.

Where to Buy These Popular Gold Coins

Each Krugerrand coin comes with a Certificate of Authenticity that verifies its purity and authenticity. You can buy Krugerrands from many different dealers online or at your local coin store.

You can buy Gold Maple Leaf coins directly from the Royal Canadian Mint. You can also buy them from various third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay.

Bottom Line

In the end, these two options are both excellent for different reasons. They appeal to different markets and demographics—from beginners to experts, from casual collectors to those seeking profit. Ultimately, it comes down to what you’re looking for in an investment. If you want something safe, easy to understand, and with a long history of appreciation, then the Maple Leaf is probably better. But if you want something more unique or appealing to your love of South Africa’s wildlife (and fine gold coins), then the Krugerrand is the better choice.

About the Author

Since 2008, Savary Gold has been one of the world's leading mining exploration & investment resources for gold and precious metals. SavaryGold.com's mission is to provide proven insider knowledge resources about retirement investing to its readers to make informed investment decisions and better manage risk.

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