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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Canada Unveils 100-Kilogram Gold Coin

OTTAWA -- The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled a welcome addition to any piggy bank on Thursday -- a monster gold coin with a face value of 1 million Canadian dollars ($904,000) that it says is the world's biggest, purest and highest denomination coin.

Weighing in at 100 kilograms, the limited edition coin easily dwarfs its closest rival, the 31-kilogram "Big Phil," which was made to honor the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and has a face value of a mere 100,000 euros ($136,000).

The Canadian mint introduced the mega-coin, which is the size of an extra-large pizza, alongside the 1-ounce gold bullion coins it is mass producing at its Ottawa plant.

Originally designed to promote the new 1-ounce coins, the colossal 100-kilogram coins will be produced in a limited quantity. A U.S. precious metals distributor has ordered three, and there is interest in Asia and Europe, the mint said.

At 53 centimeters in diameter and over 3 centimeters in width, the massive coins need a high level of hand crafting.

While it has a 1 million Canadian dollar face value, the coin is worth more than twice that amount given the current gold price of $683.30 per ounce.

The new coins are adorned with a maple leaf and Queen Elizabeth II, and boast 99.999 percent purity, a notch above previous purity peaks of 99.99 percent.

"Since the Royal Canadian Mint upped the ante on the rest of the world in 1982, by raising the purity of gold bullion to [99.99 percent] pure, other nations have come on the scene ... Austria, the United States, and Australia being the case in point," said mint spokesman Alex Reeves.

"We compete for market share with all of these countries and we decided that the time was right to do something to stand out from the crowd once again."

Bullion and refinery services generated almost 281 million Canadian dollars in revenue in 2006, more than half the mint's total sales.