|Coin on display at Prague in 2007|
|Measurements and composition|
Elizabeth II, value, year
Maple leaves, gold purity, state title
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The 1,000,000 dollar coin, introduced in 2007, is a gold bullion coin of Canada's Maple Leaf series. Massive in both value and size, the piece is the highest denominated coin of the Canadian dollar and the second largest known coin in existence, behind Australia's 1,000,000 dollar coin introduced in 2011. The large Canadian coin was produced at the Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa. While it carries a legal tender face value equivalent to one million Canadian dollars, the piece does not see any general circulation due to its high melt value and considerable size.
Description[edit | edit source]
- See also: Canadian Maple Leaf
The coin is composed of .99999 fine gold and weighs 100 kilograms (220.5 pounds). The Royal Canadian Mint defines this .99999 purity as having "less than 10 parts per million" of 19 elements, in reference to the "bulk material under the coin's surface". Described in an article by news agency Reuters as "the size of an extra-large pizza", the piece measures 500 millimeters in diameter (1.64 feet) and 30 millimeters (1.18 inches) in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and like most coins, is round in shape. The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised, and form the angles of a dodecagon.
Displayed in the middle of the obverse is a polished right-facing portrait of Elizabeth II (1926–), the current Queen of the United Kingdom and of Canada. Such a depiction, designed by Canadian artist Susanna Blunt (1941–) around 2003, shows an older Elizabeth with curly hair, wearing an earring and a necklace. Blunt's "SB" initials are carved into the bottom of the image. Arched counterclockwise along the bottom rim of the coin, below the portrait, is the caption "ELIZABETH II", and engraved at the top of the piece in the opposite direction is the Gregorian year of minting, "2007". The remainder of the outer periphery is occupied by two indications of the face value, both written in a clockwise direction. Printed at the left rim is the face value in English, "1 MILLION DOLLARS". Its equivalent in French, Canada's other official language, is inscribed as "1 MILLION DE DOLLARS" along the right boundary of the obverse.
Featured in the middle of the reverse, designed by engraver Stan Witten, are three polished maple leaves. The maple leaf is the namesake of Canada's bullion coin program, as well as a national symbol of the country. Witten's initials, "SW", are engraved in small print to the lower right of the illustration. Printed in a clockwise direction along the upper rim of the reverse is the state title "CANADA". "100 KG", abbreviated for "100 kilograms" in English, or 100 kilogrammes in French, is printed at the bottom of the piece. The English "FINE GOLD" is engraved counterclockwise to the right of this text, and the French equivalent, "OR PUR", is written to the right. Combined, the legends indicate the piece to be made of 100 kilograms of fine gold. "99999", identifying a purity of 99.999 percent gold, is inscribed horizontally in a small font at the left and right sides of the reverse, above the "F" in "FINE" and the "R" in "OR".
Production[edit | edit source]
The Royal Canadian Mint had planned to make one example of the coin to promote its new series of 99.999 percent gold Canadian Maple Leaf bullion coins. However, as interested investors offered to purchase the coin, the mint decided to produce 5 examples.
The coin was not struck like most pieces. It was cast and then machined to the proper size and shape. The piece dwarfs the Austrian 100,000 euro coin, which was the world's largest coin from 2004 until the Canadian piece was introduced in 2007. The Austrian piece weighs 31.103 kilograms, and has a diameter of 370 millimeters and a thickness of 20 millimeters.
Ownership[edit | edit source]
Because only five coins were produced, they are extremely rare and valuable. The current owners of these coins are Queen Elizabeth II; Oro Direct, a Spanish gold trading company; and two anonymous individuals in Dubai. A coin owned by Boris Fuchsmann, which had been on loan for public display in the Münzkabinett of Berlin's Bode Museum since 2010, was stolen on March 27, 2017. It has not been recovered, and is believed to have been melted down.
In 2010, the Austrian investment firm AvW Invest declared bankruptcy and its assets, including one of the five million-dollar coins, were liquidated. At a Dorotheum auction on June 25 of the same year, the piece was purchased for US$4.02 million by the Spanish gold trading company Oro Direct.
References[edit | edit source]
- Numista: 1000000 Dollars — Elizabeth II — Canada 2007
- Royal Canadian Mint – The Million Dollar Coin – a true milestone in minting
- Reuters – Spare any change? Canada unveils C$1 million coin
- Bode Museum – 1 million-dollar gold coin of Queen Elizabeth II on view in the Bode-Museum
- VirtualTourist – Museum Island - Bode Museum, Berlin
- Coin Link – 220 Pound Gold Coin “Disappoints” And Only Sells For $4.02 Million
- ZeroHedge – Massive 100 Kilogram Gold Coin Worth $4.5 Million Stolen From German Museum
- Coins of the Canadian dollar on the English Wikipedia