Gold Coin That Weighs 220 Pounds Somehow Stolen
$4M theft happened Monday in Berlin
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2017 3:28 AM CDT
The Dec. 12, 2010 file photo shows the gold coin 'Big Maple Leaf' in the Bode Museum in Berlin. The 100-kilogram (220 pound) gold coin disappeared from the museum.   (Marcel Mettelsiefen/dpa via AP)

(Newser) – Thieves kept their eyes on the target in the early hours of Monday morning when they somehow circumvented a German museum's security system and made off with just one coin. But it's not just any old coin; the so-called "big maple leaf" Canadian coin is pure 24-carat gold, big and heavy, and valued at around $4 million, reports the BBC. Thieves carried away the 220-pound coin, which is more than 20 inches in diameter, sometime after 2am local time, reports CNN. It has a face value of $1 million, and while it would make investigators' job very easy if the crooks tried to spend it, police believe they will either melt the coin down or deliver it to a collector who hired them to steal it, the Globe and Mail reports.

The Bode Museum in Berlin has housed the coin in its collection since 2010, reports the CBC. First issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007 with an image of Queen Elizabeth II on one side and the country's symbolic maple leaf on the other, the coin made it into the Guinness Book of Records for its record-breaking gold purity of 99.999%. Authorities say the coin was secured behind bullet-proof glass in the building and that the bandits appear to have entered through a window, using a ladder that they left on nearby train tracks. The original coin is in Ottawa, while five others, including this one, were sold to private individuals. (Check out which day these thieves picked to pull off a jewelry heist.)

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