World’s Largest Gold Coin Sold at Dorotheum: a Retrospect

As a new year begins, we fondly recall a “golden moment” in auction history from Dorotheum’s past: the auctioning of the “world’s largest gold coin” at Palais Dorotheum on June 25, 2010.

Larger than life: the world’s largest gold coin

Weighing in at 100 kg (999.99/1000 gold) and boasting a diameter of 53 cm, the coin made the word “large” feel like an understatement. It took three well-proportioned men to lift it onto the auction block. A special display cabinet had to be built to facilitate the coin’s transport and display.

Front pf world's largest gold coin featuring portrait of Queen Elisabeth II of Canada
A portrait of Queen Elisabeth II adorns the front of the world’s largest gold coin.

The world’s largest gold coin was of Canadian origin. A rendering of Queen Elisabeth II – then the largest ever official portrait of the Queen in solid gold – adorned its front, while the coin’s reverse was etched with three maple leaves, Canada’s national symbol.

This splendid coin was on loan at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, home of one the world’s largest numismatic collections, before Dorotheum acquired it.

Back of the world's largest gold coin featuring three maple leaves
The back of the world’s largest gold coin is embossed with Canada’s national symbol.

The world’s largest coin thus passed through the hands central Europe’s largest auction house. Dorotheum has been auctioning historic coins for more than 200 years, yet none were on this scale.

The coin, which was worth one million Canadian dollars, or approximately €800,000.00, at face value, obtained a final price of €3,270,000.

The winning bidder was none other than ORO DIRECT, the Spanish Peninsula’s largest precious metal trading company.

The other side of the coin

The coin has since been eclipsed in size by the Perth Mint of Australia’s 1-Tonne-Gold-Coin, but at the time of its auction it was a sight to behold and was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Coin specialist poses with world's largest gold coin
Coin specialist Michael Beckers has stumbled onto a gold mine.

 The golden rule

…. as we presumably all know, is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Now that we have shared one of our golden memories with you, we pass the coin to you, dear reader: what were your highlights of the past year, or any year?

Find out more about Dorotheum’s coins and medals department or contact a specialist:

Dorotheum: Coins and Medals

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