Well, the World Now Has a $23M Coin

The East India Company pays a very glitzy tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2023 1:00 PM CDT
Well, the World Now Has a $23M Coin
Queen Elizabeth II speaks with members of the Manitoba Corgi Association, during a visit to Winnipeg, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2002.   (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

If you're Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George Washington, John F. Kennedy, and Sacagawea, the United States of America will put your faces on coins worth a grand total of $1.91 for your role in the country's history. The US' former British overlords do things somewhat differently: As CNN reports, Queen Elizabeth II now has her mug on a coin made of 8 pounds of gold and 6,426 diamonds, give or take. The coin, which was unveiled just ahead of the one-year anniversary of the longtime monarch's death, isn't exactly legal tender with which one would buy a pack of gum at the local convenience store, nor would it fit in one's pocket. Roughly the size of a basketball, the coin dubbed "the Crown" is one of a kind and has an estimated value of $23 million. (See it here.)

That dwarfs the current world record for the most expensive coin ever to sell at auction, a US "Double Eagle" that went for $18.9 million two years ago, and per Fortune, it "puts all others to shame." The Crown was crafted by the East India Company, which CNN notes is a "luxury lifestyle brand" that controls the modern naming rights to the once-dynastic trading company that flourished during the British Empire's heyday before dissolving in 1874. The naming rights to the current iteration were purchased in 2005 by Indian businessman Sanjiv Mehta, who says the coin took over a year to produce and had been in the works before Elizabeth's death on Sept. 8, 2022. "The tribute that we're making to the Queen was not about cutting corners, but celebrating a life," Mehta says. (More Queen Elizabeth II stories.)

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