Posted by: mystressm | March 17, 2008

Who’s got the biggest coins?

As a Canadian, I was shocked to discover the answer to that question was us! Canada is the winner of the “honkin’ big coin” award. In May 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint unveiled a gold coin that’s as big as a car wheel and as thick as a hardcover novel.

Our giant coin
At 100 kilograms (220-pound), the coin which is 99.999 percent pure gold, is the largest and purest piece ever made by any government. It is available to cram in your purse for a measly $1 Million. (Incidentally, that’s Canadian dollars for all you American readers out there.)

Gold coins as a value investment
Canada and South Africa until recently have been known for their quality gold coins for both collectors and value hoarders, but competition for the lucrative market has heated up.

It has been an excellent investment. In 2000, gold was worth US $263 @ ounce. Seven years on, it is now worth US $653.

Compare that to your bank account. I’ll bet that you don’t have 40% more cash even with the advantage of compounding interest.

Gold coins are not the only contender for your attention.

The other metals are also sky rocketing in value.

Other coins
Pennies, for instance are made out of copper. According to coinflation.com, any Canadian minted before 1981 is actually worth about 2 cents in copper. If you can find a quarter minted before 1967 – it’s metal value is actually $1.85

It is, of course, illegal to melt them down for their intrinsic value.

Pennies, along with their cousins nickels, dimes and paper money are only meant to be “representative” value. But with soaring commodity prices – coins are now starting to have intrinsic value.

The temptation to melt down coins and exchange it for an instant double-your-money at a scrap dealer by certain people must be overwhelming.

Metal has become so valuable, that Vancouver city is being forced to look into replacing all their manhole covers with special locking ones to prevent them from being stolen. In Seattle, when all the copper wiring in a public park was stolen recently, they elected to replace it with lower-value aluminum wiring in an attempt to forestall another future theft.

The Canadian government is steeling our coins
The Canadian government has been aware of this problem for a while. To combat it, they have been cutting our coins with steel.

They also have an alloy recovery scheme where they rake out all the old coins whenever they circulate back through the banks.

So now our coins only have a thin coating of the metal around a much cheaper blank. But even that plan is starting to run into problems as zinc and nickel – the metals of choice – have soared even more than gold!

So take a good look at that dusty jar that you throw all your coins into. It’s worth a lot more than you think!

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