In 2007, when the Royal Canadian Mint introduced a limited edition series of 1-oz .99999 fine Gold Maple Leafs, the Mint also produced five 100-kilogram .99999 Gold Maple Leaf coins with face values of $1 million Canadian. The 100-kilogram coin measures 20 inches in diameter and weighs right at 220 pounds on a bathroom scale.
One of the coins sold at auction in Vienna June 25 for value of its gold content, right at $4 million. The auction house received only one bid for the coin, the bid coming from a Spanish precious metals trading firm.
The obverse of the coin bears the image of Queen Elizabeth II, who, reportedly, owns one of the other four 100-kilogram coins. The other three coins are owned by private investors.
The coin was sent to auction when its original owner was forced into bankruptcy. Previously, the coin has been on loan to Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum where it had been on display as part of its coin collection.
The Royal Canadian Mint launched the 1-oz .99999 fine coins in 2007 primarily to exhibit the RCM’s engineering excellence in coin minting. Producing .99999 is a difficult task that indeed requires engineering excellence.
The limited edition coins were minted only in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and they are available only when sold back into the secondary market, which is not often because less than 30,000 coins were produced each year. The RCM has not disclosed the exact mintages. Generally, the coins trade at a little higher price than standard .9999 1-oz Gold Maple Leafs.