October 27, 2011 8:46 AM EST
World's First One Metric Ton Gold Coin
The biggest, heaviest, inherently the world's most valuable gold bullion coin -- worth an estimated $60,777,102 at current prices -- has been unveiled by The Perth Mint, a spokesman said Wednesday.
Weighing one metric tons of 99.99 percent pure gold, the monumental coin measures nearly 80cms wide (31.5 inches) and more than 12cms deep (nearly five inches).
The coin is the pinnacle of ingenuity and innovation for which The Perth Mint is renowned.
"To cast and handcraft a coin of this size and weight was an incredible challenge, one which few other mints would not even consider," said Ed Harbuz, CEO of The Perth Mint.
The one metric ton coin features a bounding red kangaroo surrounded by stylized rays of sunlight and bordered by the inscription "AUSTRALIAN KANGAROO 1 TONNE 9999 GOLD" and the year-date 2012.
Issued as Australian legal tender, the obverse of the coin features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by the inscriptions "ELIZABETH II, AUSTRALIA" and the monetary denomination of "1 MILLION DOLLARS."
Image of Queen Elizabeth II
Obverse side of coin being designed
Image of kangaroo
Reverse of coin being designed
Reverse of coin mold
Workers prepare the reverse side of the coin mold to be joined with obverse side of mold
Mold for obverse side
Workers prepare the obverse side of coin mold to be joined to reverse side of coin mold
Preparing to pour the gold
With both sides of the coin mold joined, workers prepare to pour molten gold into the two-part assembly
Pouring gold into the mold
Workers slowly pour one metric ton of molten gold into the mold
Preparing to separate the two halves of mold
Workers begin the process of separating the two coin molds
Removing newly poured coin from mold
The freshly poured coin emerges without some of the shine that will later emerge
Coin being polished
Much of the polishing work entailed slow manual labor
Worker finishes edge of coin
The edge of the coin received minute attention by skilled craftsmen
Obverse receives final treatment
Obverse side receives a special finish
Reverse receives final treatment
Reverse side receives final treatment
Obverse of finished coin
Queen Elizabeth II's image shows clearly on the finished product
Reverse of finished coin
The iconic Australian kangaroo, shown in mid-stride, is plainly visible in the finished product