World’s Largest Coin Recently Sold at Auction

August 30th, 2010 by

The world’s largest gold coin, a Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, recently traded hands in Vienna. Though it was on loan to Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum at just before the auction, the coin has been sold by the liquidators of AvW Invest AG, an Austrian investment and venture-capital firm, to Spain’s Oro Direct Sale S.L.U.

Composed of .9999 % (24k) pure gold, and weighing 100 kg (3,215 oz.), the Gold Maple Leaf sold for €3.27 million ($4.02 million). Gold was trading at $1,253.55 per troy ounce at the time of the auction.

The specimen is identical to other Canadian Maple Leaf coins, except it is physically 21 inches in diameter. As with other Maple Leafs, the coin features an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse, while the reverse shows three maple leaves. The coin was produced in 2007 by the Royal Canadian Mint.

Michael Berger, a spokesman for Oro Direct, said “[we] believe that this is a way to demonstrate our opinion that gold is the ultimate store of wealth. As long as central banks continue to print enormous amounts of paper money, we believe physical gold will be a fantastic investment.”

This purchase illustrates a trend among European precious metals buyers over the past few months – as sales of equities slip and the value of the Euro fluctuates, more investors are seeking the security of gold. Both the Perth Mint of Australia and Muenze Oesterreich AG, the Austrian National Mint, have noticed a marked increase in sales of gold coins to European customers.

Oro Direct does not plan to sell the coin anytime soon, but “might be tempted with the right offer,” said Berger.