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All Posts Tagged With: "Dorotheum"

220 Pound Gold Coin “Disappoints” And Only Sells For $4.02 Million

The Vienna auction house Dorotheum has sold the world’s largest gold coin, a Canadian Maple Leaf manufactured by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007. It is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records and carries a face value of one million Canadian dollars (800,000 euros, 970,000 US dollars) measuring 53 centimetres (21 inches) in diameter and weighing 100 kilograms (220 pounds).

According to the Wall Street Journal,The coin was sold as part of the liquidation of the assets of bankrupt Austrian investment firm AvW Group, founded by Wolfgang Auer von Welsbach, the great-grandson of a 19th century Austrian nobleman and industrialist who invented the lighter flint and gas mantle.

Mr. von Welsbach is in police custody and faces possible charges of embezzlement and fraud in connection with the company’s collapse.

AvW had acquired the coin in 2007, joining an exclusive club of owners including Queen Elizabeth, who is also displayed on one side of the coin, two unidentified investors in Dubai and one who is so reclusive even his or her residence is unknown.

The bidding started at 3.27 million euros, with Oro Direct, a Spanish gold-trading firm being the lone bidder. It is reported that up to 8 different bidders had registered but no counter bids were made. The auction room was packed with more journalists than potential buyers.

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.

The Royal Canadian Mint manufactured and launched the coin in 2007 to showcase its production facilities and steal the entry in the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s biggest gold coin.

That title had previously been held by the Austrian mint, who in 2004 produced fifteen 100,000-euro coins weighing 1,000 troy ounces (31.1 kg) to celebrate the 15th anniversary of its best-selling Philharmonics coin.

Valencia-based Oro Direct’s managing director Michael Berger said his firm intends to use the coin in its marketing efforts, .

“We believe in gold, and therefore also believe we have made a great investment. We believe that going forward, gold will offer the only real safe haven in this uncertain economic environment,”