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Gold Maple Leaf or RCM Gold Wafer -- What's The Better Buy?

April 9th, 2020


As a Canadian making his first one ounce gold purchase, you are left with a couple Royal Canadian Mint options. The stunning one ounce .9999 gold maple leaf and the gorgeous .9999 gold wafer. Which is the better purchase and why?

A one ounce Royal Canadian Mint gold wafer without the security plastic case. The Royal Canadian Mint 1 oz. gold wafer was released in 2013 and comes in a plastic tamper proof security packaging assay. The wafer includes RCM's brand-new Bullion-DNA technology which allows bullion approved DNA dealers to verify the authenticity of the gold wafer. This feature is included on all of the Royal Canadian Mints gold and silver coins, along with this one ounce wafer which was introduced in 2015. The main advantage of purchasing the RCM wafer is that the premium over spot is generally 50% less than that of the gold maple leaf. The bar also does not have the queens face on the obverse, like the gold maple leaf. A one ounce Royal Canadian Mint gold wafer.

One issue that bothers most collectors about this 1 oz. RCM bar is that upon resale, it is expected to come with the assay protected case. Therefore, you'll never get to physically hold the gold; you'll always be admiring it though plastic. Which is just a shame. Sure, you can remove the plastic, but upon resale expect to get offered less.

A one ounce Gold Maple Leaf Coin from the Royal Canadian Mint.

The Royal Canadian Gold Maple Leaf is renowned the world over. The only coin in 1 oz. form that garners more recognition is the 1 oz. American gold Eagle. The Gold Maple Leaf comes with radial line finish making counterfeiting impossible, giving them a one up on the 1 oz. gold bar. Like the 1 oz. bar the Gold Maple Leaf also has laser mark micro-engravings, and bullion DNA anti-counterfeiting technology. While the premium is higher, they are more liquid on the private market than the 1 oz. gold bar. Best of all, you are able to fondle them raw without having to deal with any plastic encasing.

Recap:

1 oz. Royal Canadian Maple Leaf Wafer:

Pros:
  • Tamper-proof security
  • Bullion DNA technology
  • Certified authentic and signed by the Mint's Chief Assayer
  • Cheaper premium than gold maple leaf
  • Laser mark micro engraving
Cons:
  • Can only admire through plastic
  • If you take it out of the plastic, you'll lose money on resale
  • More Difficult to sell privately than gold maple leaf

1 oz. Gold Maple Leaf:

Pros:
  • Radial line finish
  • Laser mark micro engraving
  • Bullion DNA technology
  • One of the most recognizable gold coins in the whole world
  • Very liquid in both private and retail markets
  • You are able to fondle and enjoy in your hand
  • Beautiful design and finish
Cons:
  • Higher premium than 1 oz. wafer
  • The queens face on the obverse might bother some people.

Both are beautiful and you cannot go wrong purchasing either of these products. However, I personally would choose the 1 oz. Gold Maple Leaf for the reasons stated above. The only way I would choose a 1 oz. gold wafer is if the only gold maples leaf coins available were pre 2015 and did not have the extra security measures that the wafer has in place. If the premium of the bar at the time of purchase is much lower than the gold coin, or the wafer is on sale, and you don't mind holding your gold through plastic, the wafer is most certainly a better buy.

Happy Stacking Brother!

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