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The Largest Gold Coin In The World Is 1 Tonne Of Legal Tender

You’re gonna need a bigger wallet.

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Charlie Haigh

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Charlie Haigh

Marketing Coordinator & Writer

Charlie is the Marketing Coordinator and Writer for IFLScience, she’s currently completing a undergraduate degree in Forensic Psychology.

Marketing Coordinator & Writer

Edited by Francesca Benson
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Francesca Benson

Copy Editor and Staff Writer

Francesca Benson is a Copy Editor and Staff Writer with a MSci in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham.

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Australian Kangaroo One Tonne Gold Coin displayed in the Perth Mint.

It weighs as much as 12 real kangaroos.

Image credit: GordonMakryllos / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Gold has long been the go-to element for money. However, with gold coins now rarely used in circulating currency, it’s down to mints to produce these impressive promotional hunks of cash – many of which are legal tender.

The largest gold coin in the world is the Australian Kangaroo One Tonne Gold Coin ,produced by Western Australia’s Perth Mint in 2011. As the name would suggest, this kangaroo coin weighs 1 tonne (2,200 pounds) – roughly the weight of 11 real kangaroos – and is made up of 99.99 percent pure gold.

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Produced to showcase the mint’s gold kangaroo coin series which began in 1989, the coin has a face value of AU$1 million (US$648,000) making it the world’s largest legal tender coin.

However, you might need to invest in a slightly bigger wallet if you plan on carrying this chonky bit of change around, as this 12-centimeter (4.7-inch) thick coin is roughly half a Danny Devito tall – that’s 80 centimeters (31.4 inches) in old money.

Its impressive size, purity, and record-smashing title mean that despite the coin’s technical value standing at AU$1 million (US$648,000), the current market value of the metal alone by gold prices at time of publishing is around AU$110,055,898 (US$71,429,850), making the true value of the coin far higher than its tender.

After hitting the Guinness Book of World Records one year after its release, the coin went on to tour Asia and Europe in 2014 and even did a day trip to New York in 2019, all in the name of promoting the Perth Mint’s gold exchange-traded fund, Perth Mint Physical Gold (AAAU). The mint also holds smaller denominations of the kangaroo coins, with the 28-gram (1-ounce) variety having a face value of AU$100 (US$65).

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The previous world record holder, the 99.7 kilogram (220 pound) Canadian coin known as The Big Maple Leaf, was the first of five identical massive coins struck in 2007. But, in a frankly impressive turn of events, one of the coins was stolen in a 16-minute heist from a Berlin museum in 2017. The coin had a tender value of CA$1 million (US$741,000), but, like the kangaroo coin, its true value is thought to far surpass that.

"We thought well, we'd better make it so much bigger that it'll stay the biggest coin in the world for a long time," Perth Mint chief executive Ed Harbuz said at the time. "To cast and handcraft a coin of this size and weight was an incredible challenge - one which few other mints would even consider."

Australia, which birthed the largest gold nugget ever found, sparked one of the world’s greatest gold rushes in the 19th century and is still heavily mined for its ample gold reserves today. You don’t even need all the tech to strike gold in Aus, as an amateur gold hunter who recently found an AU$240,000 (US$160,000) gold nugget will tell you.

The total amount of gold ever discovered on Earth could fit inside a 23-meter (75-foot) square cube, so fingers crossed someone makes another ridiculously huge coin soon.


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