Figure of the month: 250 kg

News Arnulf Hinkel – 06.04.2017

Gold bars may not enjoy as much public interest as gold coins, but there have always been efforts to set new records in terms of size and weight. Topping the list of the largest gold bars for the past 12 years has been a 250-kilogram bullion that was produced by the Japanese companies Mitsubishi Materials Cooperation and Naoshima Smelter & Refineries in 2005. It has since been exhibited at the Toi Gold Museum in the Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. The bullion measures 45.5 x 22.5 cm, with a height of merely 17 cm high at a slight draft angle – proof as to how heavy gold actually is. In spite of its rather unimpressive size, the Japanese gold bullion has a market value of over € 9 million. The world's second-largest gold bar weighing 120 kilograms also originates from the land of the rising sun. The third place is also occupied by an Asian-made gold bar: a 100-kilogram bullion from China.

Compared to gold coins, however, these record sizes are rather modest. While the Canadian 100-kilogram “Maple Leaf” gold coin currently enjoys a lot of media attention, since it was recently stolen from a museum in Berlin, it is – just as the record bullion from Japan – of rather small dimensions next to the Australian “Red Cangaroo 2012”. This mega coin, produced in 2011 at the Perth Mint, Australia, brings no less than 1,000 kilograms to the table, with a purity of 99.99 percent. Even though its value of around € 37 million may present a temptation, it is unlikely that the mega coin will share the fate of its Canadian sibling: moving a tonne of gold would certainly attract more attention than the theft of the “Maple Leaf” did.

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