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Royal Canadian Mint unveils world's largest gold coin

Friday, May 4, 2007

The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) introduced two new products Thursday, one of which is claimed to be the world's largest gold coin. The Gold Maple Leaf coin, made of 99.999% pure gold, weighs 100 kg and has a face value of CA$1 million. The other offering is a smaller one ounce (28 g) version.

The 100 kg coin is approximately 50 cm in diameter and about 3 cm thick. At 99.999% purity, the gold coins are amongst the purest in the bullion market.

Commenting on its impractical size, RCM President and CEO Ian E. Bennett indicated that the 100 kg coin was designed to draw attention to the mint. "The Royal Canadian Mint operates in a very competitive environment, which is especially true of the international gold bullion market," said Bennett. "Our 100-kg and one ounce 99.999% pure gold bullion coins are an achievement which separates the RCM from a large field of competitors."

Until RCM's announcement on Thursday, the Austrian Mint held the record for the world's largest gold coin when, in 2004, it unveiled a €100,000 denomination coin weighing 31 kg.

In the RCM news release, Canada's government minister responsible for the Royal Canadian Mint, Lawrence Cannon, highlighted RCM's history of producing minted products. "The Royal Canadian Mint has long been recognized as one of the most innovative in the world, with a tradition of technical perfection and superior craftsmanship," said Cannon. "These new...coins now take Canada's reputation in the gold bullion industry to an unprecedented level."

The reverse, or tail side of the new Canadian coin features a maple leaf design, while the obverse, or head side bears the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Although the 100 kg coin has a face value of $1 million, it would cost approximately CA$2.6 million (or US$2.4 million) to purchase, based on the market value of gold. A limited quantity of the 100 kg coins will be available as a special order through the RCM.

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