LOREN GATCH ON BIG GOLD COINS
The E-Sylum (6/27/2010)
There is an auction taking place June 25 of the largest gold coin in the world-. This $1 million dollar Canadian hubcap weighing some 100 kilos. Here's a link to a video on the upcoming sale: finance.yahoo.com/video/investing-18773139/
Interestingly, the Austrian firm possessing this symbol of financial stability went bankrupt amidst allegations of fraud.
Just earlier this year the Russians put out a 50,000 Ruble gold coin, weighing a mere five kilos: english.pravda.ru/business/finance/19-05-2010/113435-bank_of_russia-0 .
Twice this size is the Chinese 100,000 Yuan, issued at the time of the Beijing Olympics.
While you won't find this stuff on the Island of Yap, they are still pretty impressive and, I think, an apt counterpoint to our current global financial turmoil.
A 220-pound gold coin, roughly the size of a car wheel, was sold at auction to Spanish trading firm Oro Direct for 3.27 million ($4.03 million), essentially equal to the spot price of gold.
The Maple Leaf, made by the Canadian Mint in 2007, has a face value of one million Canadian dollars (US$964,000).
In the end, there was just one bidder for the coin, on the block as part of the bankruptcy of an Austrian investment firm, and the buyer wasn't willing to pay up for the coin's unusual size.
Oro Direct, a Spanish gold-trading firm, met the auctioneer's opening price of 3.27 million ($4.03 million) for the coin, a 100-kilo (220-pound) pure gold coin that is the size of a car wheel, essentially equal to the spot price of gold. Eight potential bidders had been registered at auction house Dorotheum, the world's oldest auction house, but only Oro Direct raised its hand.
The auction price disappointed Michael Beckers, Dorotheum's coin expert who oversaw the sale. He had predicted that the price could go as high as 4 million "on a good day."
"I'm a little disappointed. I had hoped and expected to achieve more," he said, minutes after the hammer fell.
As the auction began, gold was selling for 1.011.89 per troy ounce, so 100 kilos of gold was worth 3.25 million, or $4.02 million. That means Oro Direct barely paid a premium for the coin, one of five in the world. It was the first time one of the coins had been sold.
To read the complete WSJ article, see: Giant Gold Coin Sells for $4 Million (online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703615104575328613899215820.html)
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: THE WORLDS LARGEST GOLD COIN TO BE AUCTIONED (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v13n25a29.html)