Mint presents world’s first maple leaf-shaped coin

Celebration of iconic portraits and Year of the Monkey coins also shine new light on Canada’s heritage with Mint’s latest releases

By Jesse Robitaille

Always keen to celebrate Canada through exciting innovations, the Royal Canadian Mint has launched the world’s first maple leaf-shaped coin.

The 2015 $20 Fine silver coin – dubbed The Canadian Maple Leaf – is “intricately engraved” to achieve the realistic shape of a maple leaf and capture the natural beauty of Canada’s national emblem in detail, said representatives from the Mint.

The coin’s design recreates the familiar shape of a maple leaf – specifically that of the silver maple (Acer saccharinum) species – which accentuates the palmate leaf’s serrated edges. An intricate series of deep veins are rendered with finely detailed engraving, running through each of the leaf’s five pointed, tapering lobes. Different finishes bring added dimension to the design, enhancing the engraving and lending the leaf a bright natural appearance.

With a mintage of 15,000, this $20 Fine silver coin has a weight of 31.5 grams and a 38-mm diameter.


Also part of the Mint’s latest releases are coins featuring some of most influential figures of the 20th century as part of a new Fine silver series celebrating the iconic portraits of legendary Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh. And as this year marks the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, the first of these 10-ounce Fine silver coins features Karsh’s famed portrait of the German-born theoretical physicist.

The Mint

The Mint will also commemorate Albert Einstein on this $100 Fine silver coin in celebration of legendary Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh, whose photographs – like the one commemorated here – will grace a series of upcoming coins.

Mint engravers have reproduced a portrait taken by Karsh in 1948. As a unique addition, Einstein’s breakthrough formula “E=mc2” has been included within the image. Karsh, who’s world-renowned for his famous portraits of prominent figures, met with Einstein at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, taking a number of photographs, two of which became the most iconic images of Einstein worldwide. One of them is featured on this coin.

With a mintage of 1,500, this $100 Fine silver coin has a weight of 311.5 grams and a 76.25-mm diameter.


In anticipation of the popular cultural celebration of the Year of Monkey – symbolizing intelligence, charisma and agility – the Mint has issued a number of coins, including the first Fine silver and pure gold one-kilogram coins to feature both enamel colouring and a scalloped edge. These 2016-dated coins – along with a 2016 $15 silver coin commemorating the Lunar Lotus Year of the Monkey – were designed by Three Degrees Creative Group. Artist Aries Cheung also celebrates this theme through his designs of the 2016 $15 Fine silver coin and $150 gold coin, also dubbed Year of the Monkey.

Also part of the Mint's latest releases is this

Also part of the Mint’s latest releases is this pure gold one-kilogram coin, the first to feature both enamel colouring and a scalloped edge.

The Mint’s latest releases also include: a 2015 $20 Fine silver coin – Lost Ships in Canadian Waters: Franklin’s Lost Expedition – by maritime artist John Horton; a 2016 $20 Fine silver coin – Canadian Landscape Series: The Rockies (the first in a series of four coins) – that recreate a painting by Canadian artist Stéphanie Gauvin; a 2016 $10 Fine silver coin – Canvasback (the sixth in the series) – designed by Saskatchewan artist Glen Scrimshaw; a 2015 pure gold coin set – Alluring Maple Leaves of the Fall – by artist Michelle Grant; a 2015 $20 Fine silver coin – Baby Animals: White-Tailed Deer (the sixth in the series) – by artist Glen Loates; a 2015 $20 Fine silver coin – Grizzly Bear: The Catch (first in the four-coin series) – by artist Lauren Crawshaw; a 2015 $20 Fine silver coin – Butterflies of Canada: Colias Gigantea (third in the series) – designed by Celia Godkin; a 2015 $10 Fine silver coin – Adventure In Canada: Mountain Biking (third in the series) – by artist Ken Ryan; a 2015 $5 Fine silver coin, American Numismatic Association Chicago State Flower: The Violet; and a series of Looney Tunes coins, including a $30 Fine silver coin and two $10 Fine silver coins.

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