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One of the great things about silver investing is there’s no shortage of options. You can buy bullion bars, a massive array of coins, and even private mint rounds. If you’re seeking the most popular options, though, you may be torn between Silver Maple Leafs and Silver Eagles.
Canada and America produce these coins, respectively, and they’ve each done so for decades. While the American Silver Eagle has been around for slightly longer, each coin has gained a substantial following in the precious metals world. So, which is right for you?
At Silver Gold Bull, we believe it’s important for investors and collectors alike to be informed. While there may not seem like many differences between Silver Eagles and Silver Maple Leafs, the devil is often in the details. This guide will help you make smarter investment decisions.
Silver Eagle vs. Silver Maple Leaf Bullion Content
If you discover these two coins for sale when seeking silver bullion, you’ll immediately notice a price difference. Could the precious metal content of these coins explain that difference? After all, having a higher purity typically means an item is more valuable.
While that may be the case for some bullion, it doesn’t really apply for Silver Eagles and Silver Maple Leafs. That’s because the former actually sells for more even though it has a lower purity. The Maple Leaf boasts a .9999 purity compared to the American Eagle’s .999 purity.
What explains this price difference? We’ve got an entire section below delving into this. Before getting to that point, though, it’s important to note the similarities between the coins. These factors show that both options will serve as solid investments:
- Face values don’t matter: While Canada’s 1 oz Maple Leafs have a face value of $5, America’s Eagles only carry a legal tender worth of $1. Of course, this doesn’t really matter. The real value for both comes from the precious metal content.
- Specifications nearly identical: If trying to find the differences between Silver Eagles and Silver Maple Leafs, you won’t find many in their specifications. Each weighs 1 ounce and has the same thickness. There’s only a minor variation in diameter.
- Bullion content nearly identical: While .9999 purity certainly sounds better than .999, the difference is miniscule. For instance, there would be less than a $0.03 difference in intrinsic value if the price of silver sat at $30 an ounce.
When you compare these two coins, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of difference. The design on each is certainly unique, and many investors and collectors base their decisions on this. The choice could come down to whether you like Queen Elizabeth or Lady Liberty more.
If you make an in-depth comparison between Silver Maple Leafs and Silver Eagles, though, you’ll discover differences in price and collectibility. While this may seem confusing — especially since the coin with a higher purity is valued at less — there are actually some very simple explanations.
What Explains the Price Difference?
Silver has seen tremendous growth over recent periods. This means just about any silver item you buy will serve as a solid investment. Why would someone fret over what amounts to less than a $0.03 difference in price? Well, that could add up if you buy large quantities of precious metals.
So, why is there a price differential? It all comes down to collectibility and investor demand. There are far more people who collect Silver Eagles over Silver Maple Leafs. This makes the demand for the coin higher, so most dealers charge a slightly higher premium.
To fully understand this price difference, though, one need only look at population. Canada has just over 38 million individuals living within its borders. While this is an impressive number, the United States boasts over 329 million. That’s a significant variation.
The simple fact is that people typically want coins that come from their home countries. If a precious metals investor has lived in the U.S. their whole lives, you can bet that they have more American Silver Eagles than Silver Maple Leafs in their collection. Who could blame them?
Future Potential Rarity of Silver Eagles vs. Silver Maple Leafs
When people invest in silver coins, it’s not always the present value they’re thinking of. Some precious metal items are able to accrue far more worth than their underlying bullion content. For instance, the 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar is worth $10 million even with less than 1 ounce of silver.
Could something similar happen with modern silver bullion coinage? While nothing is impossible in the world of precious metals, it’s highly unlikely. People point to the fact that there are far fewer Canadian Maple Leafs in the hands of the public. Their mintage numbers are about half of Silver Eagles.
While this certainly makes Maple Leafs rarer than their American counterparts, there are still hundreds of millions of each coin in circulation. This makes it extremely unlikely that either coin will ever be collectible enough to demand a value much higher than spot price.
Of course, certain releases of Silver Maple Leafs and Silver American Eagles do hold higher values. You can purchase proof strikings or certified coins that are worth more to collectors. Additionally, coins in extremely good condition often sell for more than less pristine examples.
Choosing Based on Variety
If you’re merely interested in adding silver to your portfolio, the variety available doesn’t mean much. If you’re a collector or simply want diversity in your collection, though, there’s a distinct winner between American Silver Eagles and Silver Maple Leafs.
While there are a wide variety of American Eagles — especially thanks to special issues — their Canadian counterparts offer a larger assortment. In fact, you can find Maple Leafs featuring everything from Zodiac signs to predators that call the Great White North home.
This certainly shouldn’t reflect badly on the American Eagle. The simple fact is that the Royal Canadian Mint puts out more coin varieties than most mints could dream of. It’s very creative with its releases — even the ones that are nothing more than bullion for investing.
Which Silver Coin Should I Buy?
Once you’ve made it this far into the guide, you probably realize there aren’t many differences between Canadian and American bullion. Everything from their dimensions to silver content are on par with each other. So, how can you decide which is the better coin to buy?
It honestly comes down to personal taste and your financial plan. If you have a preference between American Silver Eagles and Silver Maple Leafs, just go with your favorite. You won’t miss out on much with either decision. Of course, there may be bigger considerations to account for.
If your goal is to have the maximum amount of silver, the Maple Leaf will probably work best for you. While the difference in content is miniscule, you’re still getting more bang for your buck. That’s especially the case since the Canadian coin costs less than its American counterpart.
If you buy precious metals on the off chance that societal collapse occurs — a possibility scientists say is more likely by the day — you may be better off purchasing coins from your own country. These will maintain a legal tender value and likely have higher demand in your area.
If you’re more focused on the “here and now,” though, either coin will be a great addition to your portfolio.
Stop the Debate — Buy a Silver Maple Leaf AND Silver Eagle!
While each of these coins has its own uniqueness, they are actually very similar investments. The precious metal content is nearly identical, and though the Silver Eagle demands a slightly higher premium, neither of the two coins will break the metaphorical bank.
In fact, why not just buy one of each? You can create a diverse “silver stack” with coins and rounds from around the world. If you’d prefer to stick with just one — which can make “stacking” easier — both the Silver Maple Leaf and Silver Eagle are great options.
At Silver Gold Bull, we offer both of these iconic coins and much more. If you’ve got the urge to invest in precious metals, our array of items offers something everyone will love. Visit our Silver Bullion Coins page and start growing your precious metals portfolio today!