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Canadian $1M coin up for auction

July 29, 2007 at 12:21 AM

IRVINE, Calif., July 28 (UPI) -- A Southern California company plans to auction the world's largest coin, a 220-pound gold piece minted by Canada.

Teletrade, an online company that deals in coins, plans to begin the auction Monday, The Orange County Register reported. The coin has a face value of $1 million Canadian but the solid gold bullion -- 99.999 percent pure -- would be worth about $2.4 million U.S. if the coin was melted down.

"It will set a record for Teletrade and, to our knowledge, be the most expensive coin offered at online auction," said Teletrade President Ian Russell. "Obviously, this takes things to a new level."

Canada plans to mint at least four more coins in the series, which shows maple leaves on one side and Queen Elizabeth II, the Canadian head of state on the other.

"I'd say there's been a bit of an arms race in minting the biggest coins," said Jay Beeton of the American Numismatic Association. "The Royal Canadian Mint pretty well trumped everyone with this coin -- its size, purity and rarity."

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