OTTAWA The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled a
welcome addition to any piggy bank on Thursday -- a monster
gold coin with a face value of C$1 million (455,000 pounds)
that it says is the world's biggest, purest and highest
Weighing in at 100 kilograms (220.5 pounds), the limited
edition coin easily dwarfs its closest rival, the 31 kg (68
pound) "Big Phil", which was made to honour the Vienna
Philharmonic Orchestra and has a face value of a mere 100,000
The Canadian mint introduced the mega-coin, which is the
size of an extra-large pizza, alongside the one-ounce gold
bullion coins it is mass producing at its Ottawa plant.
Originally designed to promote the new one-ounce coins, the
colossal 100 kg coins will be produced in a very limited
quantity. A U.S. precious metals distributor has ordered three
and there is interest in Asia and Europe, the mint said.
At 53 centimetres (21 inches) in diameter and over 3 cm
(1.2 inches) thick, the massive coins need a high level of hand
While it has a C$1 million face value, the coin is worth
more than twice that amount given the current gold price of
$683.30 an ounce.
The new coins are both adorned with a maple leaf and boast
99.999 percent purity, a notch above previous purity peaks of
"Since the Royal Canadian Mint upped the ante on the rest
of the world in 1982, by raising the purity of gold bullion to
four nines pure (99.99 percent) other nations have come on the
scene ... Austria, the United States, and Australia being the
case in point," said mint spokesman Alex Reeves.
"We compete for market share with all of these countries
and we decided that the time was right to do something to stand
out from the crowd once again."
Bullion and refinery services generated almost C$281
million in revenue in 2006, more than half the mint's total
sales of almost C$494 million.