By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez for Coinweek …….
A 2007 Canadian $1 million gold coin is in the process of being offered for sale by GoldCore, a gold broker headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. The $1 million Canadian coin, one of just five ever minted, is one of the rarest and purest gold coins in the world and was also the first coin ever made with a face value of one million dollars (CAD). The 0.99999-fine gold coins were struck at the Royal Canadian Mint’s (RCM) Ottawa facility and each weighs in at a massive 3,215 troy ounces, or 100 kilograms.
In October 2007, shortly after the first of the $1 million Canadian coins was minted, Guinness World Records listed them as the world’s largest gold coins. The $1 million dollar, which weighs 220 pounds, has an impressive 20-inch diameter and measures one inch thick. This massive coin handily stole the “world’s largest coin” title from the 2004 Austrian Vienna Philharmonic 100,000 Euro 24-karat gold coin (“Big Phil”), which has a 15-inch diameter, is about three-quarters of an inch thick, and weighs about 70 pounds.
The Canadian $1 million gold coin has since been succeeded by the $1 million 2012 Australian Kangaroo 1 Tonne .9999 gold coin. This Perth Mint behemoth weighs a mighty 2,204 pounds, measures about 31 inches in diameter, and is more than 4.7 inches thick.
The Canadian $1 million gold coin is presently valued at $5.36 million (USD) and is the only such piece currently available on the market. The other four $1 million Canadian gold coins are privately held. It contains over $3.95 million of gold, according to the current gold spot price.
GoldCore, which won the exclusive rights to sell the coin, was founded by Mark O’Byrne in 2003 and boasts $110 million in assets. While GoldCore maintains its main offices in Ireland and the United Kingdom, there is also a U.S. customer service office and depository located in Delaware.
Sales of the Canadian $1 million dollar gold coins made headlines when they were first offered in 2007. The RCM operates one of the world’s leading refineries and originally minted the 24-karat gold coins to promote the Mint’s new line of 0.99999 pure one-ounce gold Maple Leaf bullion coins.
The obverse of the $1 million gold coin features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Susanna Blunt (View Designer’s Profile). This same portrait of the gracefully aging monarch has been used on the obverses of all Canadian coins since 2003.
The reverse design by RCM senior artist and engraver Stan Witten exhibits a hand-polished maple leaf design incorporating three separate maple leaves on a single twig. CANADA is inscribed across the top third of the coin along the rim and the words FINE GOLD 100 KG OR PUR are wrapped around the bottom half of the coin; either end of the metal content inscription is flanked with .99999 written horizontally at the beginning and end of the phrase.
While the $1 million gold coin is listed as a numismatic collectible and is an exceptional rarity, it is technically listed as a legal tender coin. What is unclear is whether or not there would be any legal restrictions in actually using the coin as money for a hypothetical cash transaction. This matter recently received attention as the UK’s Royal Mint apparently redefined the meaning of the term “legal tender” when it refused to redeem many of its silver and gold commemorative coins at face value and advised British banks to do the same.
Canadian Gold Maple Leafs Currently Available on eBay