NGC grades rare Canadian Silver Maple Leaf error

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) recently authenticated and graded an extremely rare Canadian Silver Maple Leaf (SML) error.

This 2005 $5 SML was incorrectly struck on a 25.1-gram .9999 per cent silver planchet intended for commemorative silver dollars. It should have been struck on the 31.1-gram .9999 per cent silver planchet used for the SML bullion coins.

A wrong planchet error such as this is extraordinarily rare for a silver bullion coin due to the extensive scrutiny of these coins, particularly their weight. The Royal Canadian Mint, which issues the Maple Leaf, is also well-regarded for its extensive automation and attention to quality control.

More than 150 million one-ounce SML bullion coins have been produced since the program’s inception in 1988.

“This coin is unique,” says David Camire, NGC finalizer and error coin specialist. “No other wrong planchet errors are known to exist for the entire Canadian Maple Leaf bullion series.”


Besides being much lighter than normal – at 25.1 grams instead of the correct 31.1 grams – this piece is also much smaller than normal. Its planchet is nearly two mm smaller in diameter than those used for SML bullion coins.

This important error was submitted to NGC by Harlan J. Berk, an NGC-authorized dealer located in Chicago, Ill. Although the coin’s owner has only 0.8 ounces of silver instead of the one ounce stated on the coin, they probably aren’t disappointed. The value of this unique mint error undoubtedly exceeds the bullion value of this coin by many, many multiples.


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