World's largest gold coin sells

A precious-metals company plunks down $4 million for the 220-pounder.

By Kim Peterson Jun 28, 2010 2:51PM

Caption: Experts handle the world's largest gold coin after auction in Vienna. Credit: (© Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters)What's slightly bigger than an extra-large pizza and weighs as much as a refrigerator? The world's largest gold coin, which sold Friday in Austria.

The 2007 maple-leaf coin (pictured) weighs 220 pounds and is 21 inches in diameter. It was up for sale at the Dorotheum auction house in Vienna, reports The Associated Press.


As the gold frenzy hits a fever pitch, Spanish precious-metals company Oro Direct bid $4 million to win the coin. No word on what the company plans to do with its prize.

The coin is part of a series introduced in 2007 with a face value of 1 million Canadian dollars. The coin is 99.999% pure gold bullion and features Queen Elizabeth II on one side and the maple leaf on the other, AP reports. It took six weeks to make.

Back in 2007, the coins were selling for $2.7 million. So the value has increased 50% in three years, even though the per-ounce price of gold has doubled since then.

 

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One rule in gold investing is to buy common coins that are easily tradable, like the 1-ounce American Buffalo. Don't buy a rare gold coin that will be harder to sell.

Obviously, this coin smashes that rule. So why would a company want it? Perhaps for promotional value, one expert said. A company could put it on display to draw attention to the more-common gold coins it sells.

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