The One Million Dollar Coin From Canada

Grace Higgins | October 8th, 2019

Here is one saga from history that Canada may wish to forget, the time they minted a 1 million dollar coin, only for it to be promptly stolen. The massive medallion was made from the purest gold bullion ever refined, and by today’s estimates is worth over $5.8 million. The coin was stolen from the Bode Museum in Berlin, never to be seen again.

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Susanna Blunt’s artwork has become a regular in Canadian homes, her picture depicting Elizabeth II was chosen from a pool of millions of artists and is featured on all coins they have in circulation. Not to mention several collector items from the Royal Canadian Mint. While most coins are just pocket change, there is one piece that has international fame.

In March 2017, a huge medallion was stolen from the Bode Museum in Berlin. A museum that has one of the most extensive numismatic collections in the world. This happened without triggering a single alarm, in a matter of minutes the coin was gone, a coin worth over $5.8 million dollars.

The coin had been produced in Ottawa in 2007, it happened because an Austrian mint produced a coin that was 99.99% pure gold and weighed over 30 kg, giving it a value of 100,000 Euros. The Canadian mint felt they had to compete so they minted a 100 kg discus that was nearly 60 cm across. Not only was it the biggest coin they ever minted, but it was also fine nines pure, meaning 99.999% pure gold.

The coin was nicknamed the Big Maple Leaf, and they ended up producing five more, as buyers came forward looking to put it in their piggy bank. One ended up in the Bode, which is how it was stolen. Allegedly by two brothers and their cousin, capitalizing off a tip from a fourth suspect who worked at the museum, they went through a malfunctioning window. They had to lift it out by rope and then wheelbarrow it off to a getaway car.

The suspects have all been apprehended and are on trial, but the coin has never been found. Many believe it is hidden or has already been melted down and sold.

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