Big Maple Leaf

The Big Maple Leaf (BML) is a set of six[1] $1 million (CAD) gold coins each weighing 100 kilograms (220 lb) (3,215 troy ounces). They were produced by the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) in 2007, at their Ottawa facility where the first BML produced remains in storage. As of March 2017, the market value of a single Big Maple Leaf had reached approximately $4 million (USD).[2] On 27 March 2017, one of the coins was stolen from a Berlin museum.

Big Maple Leaf
Canada
Value1 million (CAD)
Mass100,000 g
Diameter530 mm
Composition999.99/1000 gold
Gold3,215 troy oz
Years of minting1
Mintage6
Obverse
Obverse Big Maple Leaf.jpg
DesignEffigy of Queen Elizabeth II
DesignerSusanna Blunt
Design date2003
Reverse
DesignHand-polished stylized maple leaf
DesignerStanley Witten

DescriptionEdit

A Big Maple Leaf measures 2.8 centimetres (1.1 in) thick and 50 centimetres (20 in) in diameter and is 999.99/1000 pure. The obverse of the BML shows Queen Elizabeth II as she has appeared on Canadian coinage since 2003,[3] when Susanna Blunt's design became the third iteration of the queen's effigy to appear on coinage, (the others were 1965, and 1990). Blunt's design shows the queen in maturing dignity, without a tiara or crown, (only one other RCM design ever had the monarch not wearing a crown).[4] The reverse design is the stylized maple leaf by RCM artist and senior engraver: Stan Witten.[5][6]

Theft of one coinEdit

In the early hours of 27 March 2017, a Big Maple Leaf was stolen from the Münzkabinett (coin cabinet) of the Bode Museum in Berlin, Germany.[1] The cabinet is known for its huge collection of coins – more than 500,000 pieces, among them more than 100,000 Greek and 50,000 Roman ones – though only a tiny fraction of these coins are shown at exhibits.

A spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mint said "...the stolen coin does not belong to the mint. After creating the original (which is in storage in Ottawa), the mint manufactured five more that were sold to interested private individuals."[1] The coin was lent to the Bode Museum in 2010 by private owner Boris Fuchsmann,[7] and was displayed there until it was stolen.[8]

In July 2017, police raids took place and arrests were made in connection with the theft. The suspects come from a large Arab family notorious for organised crime. Berlin Police assume that the coin was damaged during the theft when it was dropped from the train tracks onto the street.[8] Investigators do not expect to find the coin as they found gold dust on seized clothing and a car and suspect the robbers may have melted the coin down.[9][10]

In January 2019, a trial in a juvenile court against four suspects began. Two brothers, Ahmed and Wayci Remmo, and their cousin Wissam Remmo, all belonged to a Berlin crime family of Lebanese origin known to local police as the Remmo-Clan [de].[11] The fourth person, Denis W., was a school friend of the Remmo's and an employee of the Bode Museum. Denis was found guilty of advising the others on the museum's safety protocols. The trial ended in February of 2020 with Ahmed and Wissam being sentenced to 4 and a half years and Denis being sentenced to 3 years 4 months, the lenient sentencing being a result of them being relatively young (Ahmed and Wissam having been 18 and 20, respectively) during the crime. The fourth defendant, Wayci Remmo was acquitted due to inconclusive evidence.[12] The whereabouts of the gold coin remains unknown.[13]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Massive $1M gold coin from Canadian Mint stolen in Berlin". cbc.ca/news. 27 March 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ O'Sullivan, Donie (27 March 2017). "200-lb gold coin worth estimated $4 million is stolen from German museum". cnn.com. Retrieved 28 March 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Rodgers, Kerry (11 September 2015). "Elizabeth II reaches reign milestone". numismaster.com. Retrieved 2 April 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Canada 2016 100th Anniversary Women's Right to Vote $1 Coin". coinweek.com. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "The Million Dollar Coin – a true milestone in minting". mint.ca. Retrieved 2 April 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Thieves nab 221-pound gold coin from German museum". usatoday.com. 27 March 2017. Retrieved 28 March 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Zeitung, Westdeutsche. "Düsseldorfer will vier Millionen für Goldmünze aus dem Bode-Museum". Westdeutsche Zeitung.
  8. ^ a b "Berlin police make arrests over giant gold coin theft". dw.com. Deutsche Welle. 2017-07-12. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  9. ^ Oltermann, Philip (2017-07-12). "German police make arrests over €4m gold coin heist". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  10. ^ "Big Maple Leaf: Goldstaub gefunden – Münze aus dem Bode-Museum wohl zerstört" [Big Maple Leaf: gold dust found – coin from the Bode Museum likely destroyed]. Berliner Zeitung (in German). 2017-07-27. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  11. ^ theryleytrahan. "The Canadian "Big Maple Leaf" Heist: Are Your Assumptions Hurting Security?, CTC International Group". CTC International Group. Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  12. ^ "The Bumbling Thieves Who Stole an Enormous $4.3 Million Gold Coin From a Berlin Museum—and Probably Melted It Down—Are Heading to Prison". Artnet News. February 21, 2020.
  13. ^ "Giant gold coin trial opens in Berlin". January 10, 2019 – via www.bbc.com.