Part 4 - The Million Pound Coin - 2010
Read time 6-7 mins
Creating a flagship product
Imagine you’re planning your next line of products and you want to offer something truly unique and decided that you want to create a showpiece to be the centre of it.
What do you think of when you want to create a showpiece? The ball drop in Times Square? The Festival of Lights in Lyon? The fireworks overlooking the Yas Marina, in Abu Dhabi, after the finale of the Formula 1 season? Or perhaps an opening ceremony?
How about a gold coin certified as 99.999% gold weighing in at a colossal 100kg?
A One Million Dollar Coin?
The Big Maple Leaf Coin (One Million Pound Coin) certainly does not disappoint in terms of being a showpiece. Granted, it may not be as dramatic as the ball drop in Times Square or as immersive as an opening ceremony of the Olympics and not as pretty as the festival of lights in Lyon but what it does have in common with these aforementioned showpieces is that you do not miss when you see it.
This feat is a testament to the engineering used in Minting.
With something as incredible as being made up of essentially pure gold are the problems that come with it. One of those problems with having a coin of this size is precisely that, the sheer size of it. As you now know, this gold bullion coin is certified as being 99.999% of gold and entered the Guinness Book of Records for its purity along with a few other details which are quite astounding.
- 3cm thick.
- 53cm in diameter.
- Weight (Troy oz.) - 3215.
In addition, one of the downsides to being in possession of anything made up of almost pure gold is that, naturally, gold is a soft metal and is often combined with other metals to make it stronger. Buyers of this coin have experienced handling marks on their coins due to the fragilities of owning something made up of pure gold.
Who Created it?
The Big Maple Leaf Coin was first produced in 2007 by the Royal Canadian Mint. It was the first of its kind and displays Queen Elizabeth II and the Canadian Maple Leaf on either side of the coin.
How much is it Worth?
The coin has a nominal face value of $1 Million, as expected, however, because of its weight in gold, it can be worth up to $4million. However, this price can vary as it’s dependent on the price of gold.
How many are there?
Originally, only one coin was to be made but the demand was strong enough that the Royal Canadian Mint made 5 more.
Exclusive owners of this gold coin include Queen Elizabeth II herself and 4 other owners. The original is held at the Royal Mint in Ottawa, Canada.
Who Designed It?
Both sides of the coin were designed by different people. The portrait side of the coin (Obverse side) which bears an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II was by a celebrated Canadian artist called Susanna Blunt.
The reverse side features a hand-polished maple leaf design by the Royal Canadian Mint artist Stan Witten.
In June 2010, one of these Gold coins was bought by a Spanish precious metals company for £2.68m. This figure was the exact price of its material worth at the time.
The winning bidder may be in possession of quite a unique item but it does come at a price. Literally.
In March 2017, one of these coins was stolen from the Bode Museum in Germany. The coin was on loan from an anonymous owner which is still under investigation.