Big Maple Leaf
|Value||1 million (CAD)|
|Gold||3,215 troy oz|
|Years of minting||1|
|Design||Effigy of Queen Elizabeth II|
|Design||Hand-polished stylized maple leaf|
The Big Maple Leaf (BML) is a set of six $1 million (CAD) gold coins each weighing 100 kilograms (220 lb) (3,215 troy ounces). They were produced by the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) in 2007, at their Ottawa facility where the first BML produced remains in storage. As of March 2017[update], the market value of a single Big Maple Leaf had reached approximately $4 million (USD). On 27 March 2017, one of the coins was stolen from a Berlin museum.
A Big Maple Leaf measures 3 centimetres (1.2 in) thick and 53 centimetres (21 in) in diameter and is 999.99/1000 pure. The obverse of the BML shows Queen Elizabeth II as she has appeared on Canadian coinage since 2003[update], when Susanna Blunt's design became the third iteration of the queen's effigy to appear on coinage, (the others were 1965, and 1990). Blunt's design shows the queen in maturing dignity, without a tiara or crown, (only one other RCM design ever had the monarch not wearing a crown). The reverse design is the stylized maple leaf by RCM artist and senior engraver: Stan Witten.
Theft of one coin
In the early hours of 27 March 2017, a Big Maple Leaf was stolen from the Münzkabinett (coin cabinet) of the Bode Museum in Berlin, Germany. The cabinet is known for its huge collection of coins – more than 500,000 pieces, among them more than 100,000 Greek and 50,000 Roman ones – though only a tiny fraction of these coins are shown at exhibits.
A spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mint said "...the stolen coin does not belong to the mint. After creating the original (which is in storage in Ottawa), the mint manufactured five more that were sold to interested private individuals." The coin was lent to the Bode Museum in 2010 by an unknown private owner, and was displayed there until it was stolen.
In July 2017, police raids took place and arrests were made in connection with the theft. The suspects allegedly come from a family notorious for organised crime. Berlin Police assume that the coin was damaged during the theft when it was dropped from the train tracks onto the street. Investigators do not expect to find the coin as they found gold dust on seized clothing and a car and suspect the robbers may have melted the coin down.
In January 2019, the trial against four suspects began. The two brothers and one cousin belong to a Berlin family of Lebanese origin, and they are being tried in a youth court due to their age. The fourth person, a 20-year-old employee of the Bode Museum, allegedly advised the others on safety measures. The whereabouts of the coin is still unknown.
- Australian Gold Nugget, a one tonne gold coin minted in 2011.
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- "Big Maple Leaf: Goldstaub gefunden – Münze aus dem Bode-Museum wohl zerstört" [Big Maple Leaf: gold dust found – coin from the Bode Museum likely destroyed]. Berliner Zeitung (in German). 2017-07-27. Retrieved 2018-04-10.