12 months ago
The largest gold coin in the world, a 221-pound treasure worth millions, was swiped from Berlin’s Bode Museum in a daring heist early Monday morning.
Cat burglars made their way into the museum through a window above railroad tracks before breaking into a bulletproof glass case that housed the “The Big Leaf” coin.
Police Spokesman Stefen Petersen told Bloomberg that there were most likely numerous thieves involved in the heist because of the coin’s sheer weight.
The Canadian-minted coin, which has maple leaves on one side and a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the other, has an estimated monetary value of $1 million Canadian dollars.
But it could be worth much more if melted down: The coin, 1.18 inches thick and 20.9 inches wide, is about the size of a pizza and could fetch as much as $4.5 million based on weight of the gold alone—if sold at market prices.
The Big Leaf comes from the Royal Canadian Mint, which in 2007 produced the coin in limited quantities to promote its Gold Maple Leaf bullion coins. The coin landed a place in the Guinness Book of Records because of its gold purity — 999.99 percent — and has been on display in the German capital since December 2010.
Authorities would not comment on whether or not the museum, located on Berlin’s Museum Island, has a video surveillance system.