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Australia The Almighty Buck Idle

World's Biggest Gold Coin Minted In Australia 171

Posted by samzenpus
from the because-they-can dept.
First time accepted submitter shocking writes "The Perth Mint has created a gold coin that is just over one tonne in weight and worth over 50 million AUD. From the article: 'A team of a dozen people have worked since late last year to create the coin which measures 80 centimeters wide and 12 centimeters deep, featuring a kangaroo on one side and the Queen's motif on the other.' Ron Paul eat your heart out!"
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World's Biggest Gold Coin Minted In Australia

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  • by SharkLaser (2495316) on Friday October 28, 2011 @04:32AM (#37865990) Journal
    Now we mine BitCoins!
    • i minted a bitcoin that's 80 centimetres wide and 12 centimetres deep, but it told me there wasn't enough space on my 31" reel :(

    • Unlike a bitcoin, this is probably worth more than $3.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 28, 2011 @04:37AM (#37866020)

    ...build the world's biggest couch so it can fall between the cushions.

  • Are they at least going to do something cool with it?
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday October 28, 2011 @04:57AM (#37866098) Journal

    The coin has a "worth" of 1 million AUD but contains 50 million AUD of gold...

    And you wonder why the economy is down the crapper. Also... 50 million worth of gold. Perhaps some better use could be found for it then a vanity piece to show just how much Australia bows before its British superiors?

    I would have shaped in the form of a blade and put it in a guillotine. Some might scoff at the sharpness of such a blade but with that weight it will do the job. Just more messily, mad max style.

    • by imroy (755) <imroykun@gmail.com> on Friday October 28, 2011 @05:18AM (#37866196) Homepage Journal
      Your economy is in the crapper, Australia's isn't. We're doing pretty well, partly thanks to our mining sector selling raw materials to China. We also had a recession back in 1987 due (from what I'm hearing now) to bad assets. It had the result of (eventually) clearing out all of those bad assets and leaving our banks stronger than before. So when the GFC hit everyone, we were able to weather it rather well. You guys haven't, and you haven't gotten rid of the toxic assets that caused it in the first place! We're all in for more pain...
      • Actually, things are going to be a LOT worse for you guys. Your mostly single customer that is buying no just your material, but your mines, is about to have multiple bubbles pop. It is expected that it will make what just happened in America look positively MINOR.
        And actually, I think that America got rid of most of ours, and parts of EU have as well. EU has some issues with the PIGS. Hopefully that was taken care of over the last couple of days.
        • by Now15 (9715)

          Swings and roundabouts -- if the mining boom collapses, our dollar will crash and exports will pick up some of the slack. On one hand, we'll have more expensive imports and perhaps less tax revenue, on the other hand, we'll see an upturn in manufacturing and local services.

        • by daver00 (1336845)

          China takes a roughly similar quantity of our exports as Japan, and is by no means our only customer. The mining sector in Australia accounts for roughly 6-7% of GDP, not exactly the dominant industry. The truth is Australia's economy is fairly diversified and our financial sector is well regulated, our government has comparatively low levels of debt. We also benefit from a close proximity to the worlds growth regions, not just China but all of Asia. It will be difficult for us if China slows, but people ha

      • Bahahahaha. No.

        Before the crisis our economy was mainly fuelled by increases to our total level of debt. We were borrowing $20 billion dollars more every month, while our GDP was only climbing by $60 billion every year. When the level of debt growth started to stall it had a massive impact on the economy. In response to that we did 2 things differently to most of the rest of the world;

        1. We gave $1,000 to every tax payer and encouraged them to spend it. This had an immediate, though temporary effect, and

    • by JasterBobaMereel (1102861) on Friday October 28, 2011 @05:22AM (#37866210)

      In what way is this "bowing before its British superiors" ? So it has a picture of your head of state on it ...who is about as British as Angela Merkel

    • And you wonder why the economy is down the crapper.

      As an Australian, I don't wonder this, I have never had to wonder this as we recovered from the effects of the GFC within six months.

      Australia's economy is doing quite well right now thank you very much. The high price of minerals, energy and agri products are benefiting Australia right now because minerals, energy and agri are our three biggest exports. The AUD buys 1.06 USD at the moment as a sign of just how strong the Australian economy is. Unemployment is at 5%, which is quite normal for Oz and our deb

      • by bloodhawk (813939)
        while I agree our economy has done quite well throughout the GFC on the back of the mining boom, you may want to recheck your debt numbers as while they are not so bad, 2009/2010 was not in the black, it was over 50 billion in the red, I believe the 2009/2010 deficit was our largest ever on record as well.
    • They will sell it for a time in bulk to China expecting to make it up in volume. Then China will swoop in and buy the company and the mine. Then shut it down, move the operation to CHina and sell it at a lower cost, while keeping the coin the same.
    • by alphatel (1450715) *
      Due to fluctuations in the economy, the gold coin can be valued anywhere from $100m to $5. As it has two sides, when flipped int he air, we invoke quantum mechanics. We can see that the coin has both sides at any given times until it lands on one side, with an indeterminate value. Taking the derivative of that, the queen will surely be slain by the Kangaroo for a mere nickel.
    • The US mint often creates "collectable" coins that are sold for much more than face value. The collectors seem to be willing to spend money on coins that are double struck to give it a very glossy shine, not to mention coins with unusual face artwork. It seems some people have more money than good cents.
    • by craznar (710808)

      The Australian economy is far from down the crapper ... this isn't the US or Europe over here.

      The GFC barely even scratched us.

    • by sqldr (838964)

      to show just how much Australia bows before its British superiors?

      We don't really see Australians as inferior here in Britain. America on the other hand. My rating for a country's population is usually based on the number of elected politicians who believe that the earth is 6000 years old.

      • by Bucky24 (1943328)
        So that would mean the more politicians that believe that the higher the rating? Or the other way around?
    • by SJ (13711)

      Wow... way to show your total lack of understanding.

      Firstly, the Australian economy is in pretty good shape comparatively. (Mostly held together by Western Australia and Queensland)

      Secondly, the Mint is required by law to hold a certain amount of gold. What difference does it make if that gold is in house-brick size blocks or moulded into this coin?

      The Mint isn't selling this coin, they just made it for funzies.

    • I wonder where you get the opinion that the economy is down the crapper? Sure the US is financially imploding and Europe is coming along for the same default swap fueled ride, but Australia on the other hand avoided a recession and on the whole is doing quite well.

      What you think is insane is actually good economic policy. The gold coin is not in circulation and as such before this little experiment the government had $50m in gold, after it still has $50m in gold, nothing's changed there.

      As for printing a lo

      • Personally I find foreign coins fascinating along with other historical oddities (invasion, inflationary, fractionals, etc). I have always like coins from the British Commonwealth many of which have the current monarch on them. The monarch isn't what interests me but mostly the other interesting designs on them. Also you are correct about the amount on the coin since it is considered legal tender it needs to be counted in the money supply so they chose a token value that wouldn't have any impact on the val
    • by rolfwind (528248)

      The coin has a "worth" of 1 million AUD but contains 50 million AUD of gold...

      A $20 US Gold Coin weighs 0.96oz. An ounce being, what, $1700 per ounce these days? Doesn't mean that's what the mint sells it for.

      And you wonder why the economy is down the crapper. Also... 50 million worth of gold. Perhaps some better use could be found for it then a vanity piece to show just how much Australia bows before its British superiors?

      If there is a better use for gold, someone will buy it at the gold price, melt it,

    • by cgenman (325138)

      Most coins are actually more expensive to mint than their stated face value. The value from a coin comes from the repeated re-use in transactions, rather than in the creation of value.

      Not to say that this is a practical example of that, mind you. Just that most coins follow the same model on a more practical scale.

  • by rts008 (812749) on Friday October 28, 2011 @05:01AM (#37866114) Journal

    *fumbles change in pocket*
    "How do you get THIS in the vending machine?!?"

    *cue 'Crocodile Dundee'* "No, THIS is a coin, mate!"
    (My sincere apologies to Australians, but I just could not help myself. I developed a healthy respect for Aussie troops during my stint in the US Army:-)

  • by coldmist (154493) on Friday October 28, 2011 @05:04AM (#37866132) Homepage

    From what I've read, all the gold in the world that has been mined could fill something like 2 olympic swimming pools, or something like that.

    Considering this is like 32 inches x 5 inches, think of that sitting in the bottom of an olympic pool. Not too big, but still pretty impressive considering the relative size.

    • by stjobe (78285)

      From what I've read, all the gold in the world that has been mined could fill something like 2 olympic swimming pools, or something like that.

      From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

      A total of 165,000 tonnes of gold have been mined in human history, as of 2009. This is roughly equivalent to 5.3 billion troy ounces or, in terms of volume, about 8500 m3, or a cube 20.4 m on a side.

      An Olympic-size swimming pool has a minimum volume requirement of 2500 m3 [wikipedia.org], so 3.4 of them would be needed to hold all the gold ever mined.

      • What's the maximum allowed volume for an olympic-size pool? 3.4 would seem to be the upper bound on the number of olympic pools needed.

    • Interesting fact I found out that is somewhat related to this. A few years ago I wondered how big a cube of gold would be that weighted 1 ton (short ton for you in the metric world) and came up with an answer of slightly under 1 cubic foot. A few months later I saw an article in the local paper pointing out that approximately 1 ton of lead fishing tackle is lost in Minnesota lakes each year. This value I am sure shocked lots of people as 1 ton sounds like a lot of material, but when put in the perspective t
      • A few months later I saw an article in the local paper pointing out that approximately 1 ton of lead fishing tackle is lost in Minnesota lakes each year. This value I am sure shocked lots of people as 1 ton sounds like a lot of material, but when put in the perspective that this is only about 1 cubic foot spread across all the 15,000+ lakes in the state it is really a trivial amount. I do my part and use bismuth or tungsten tackle as I don't want to add to the problem.

        The issue is not only amount, but location and form (v.g., a few grams of lead going straight to your heart is a big problem), and the fact that heavy metal poisoning is cumulative (once it gets in your organism it remains there forever, because your body has no ways of dealing with it). It is not a problem in the sense that it is so much that there will be shortage of lead for other users or that you will see lead everywhere, but it is really a problem worth informing about (that I am not saying that every

  • I hope this is put on public display. Take one lot at that, and then you will really understand what it means for your country to have debts of trillions.

    Display boards with lots of digits just don't get the message across.

    "See that there big 'ole coin? That's what a Wall Street Banker got as a bonus, after the 'guvment bailed out his bank.

    • by Jeng (926980)

      Not a bad idea if you happen to have $50 million laying around, which I am assuming Australia did.

      This publicity stunt has only cost them the labor used to create the coin and they can melt it back down at any time.

      Doubt they will melt it down though since turning the gold into a coin increased the value of the gold.

    • by cgenman (325138)

      Take that ridiculous, oversized, mind-bendingly overpriced coin.

      Mint a field of 250 thousand of them. That's the US debt.

      Launch a comically supervillian plot to steal every bit of gold ever mined in the lifespan of humanity, stealing from fort knox, buckingham palace, motherboards, every wedding ring, etc. If you took all 10 billion oz of gold in the world, and sold it all at current market rates, you'd barely pay off the federal debt.

  • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Friday October 28, 2011 @05:23AM (#37866218) Journal

    It's funny how Hitch-hiker stuff seems to have a bearing on real life so often...

    "...and the Triganic Pu has its own very special problems. Its exchange rate of eight Ningis to one Pu is simple enough, but since a Ningi is a triangular rubber coin six thousand eight hundred miles along each side, no one has ever collected enough to own one Pu. Ningis are not negotiable currency, because the Galactibanks refuse to deal in fiddling small change"

    And I bet the banks would refuse to deal with this gigantic gold coin.

  • This being petty cash, like the Triganic Ningi, it isn't worth hanging on to, since the banks wont exchange them.

  • Density (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pence128 (1389345) on Friday October 28, 2011 @05:39AM (#37866282)
    It's about the size of a garbage can lid. Gives you a bit of perspective on the density of gold.
    • Most people would probably be more familiar with the unit of measure that it is about a 1 cubic foot of gold.
      • by daid303 (843777)

        Except for the fact that most people use metric measurements. USA being the only real imperial country, having 250M people of the 7B in the world makes your definition of "most" awkward.

        So about a 30x30x30cm cube.

        • Well I meant most on this site, but a cube 30cm on edge works as well for this crowd.
        • If you wear a size 43 european shoe which is the most common size mens show sold in Europe or you wear a 42 or 44 (those three sizes together accounting for nearly 80% of all mens shoes sold in Europe) which is close enough to a size 43, then your foot is actually a foot or damn close to it in size.

          So, while I appreciate that you are trying to help people visualize things in a way they'll understand, the fact is, while most people in the world would prefer to make precise measurements in the metric system,
          • Please also realize that in areas like Sicily, while not legal tender, prices for most things are still marked in Lira... then when you want to buy it, the shop clerk will break out a calculator and figure out how many euro you owe them if you don't have any lira available.

            Just because other standards are set, it doesn't mean they are universally used.
  • I wonder if a future archaeologists digs that up, what they will wonder? They will probably assume that we had a new race of 50' women take over the world, but that it was so few, that only a few of these coins were found. Then upon finding 'attack of the 50' woman' movie, they will know that man was wiped by that race.
    • by Dunbal (464142) *
      You are surprisingly optimistic to think that this much gold is going to a) be forgotten about and/or b) last that long intact.
  • by Dunbal (464142) *
    To assay it properly you need to take core samples?
  • Coins are struck on presses with dies and planchets. This is cast. The relief is very high: this item would not stack. It really resembles a medal more than a coin.

    I would have been much more impressed if they had constructed a press with sufficient power to strike such a large coin.

    • That would be really impressive considering the presses that are currently used for minting US coins. That press would be more impressive than the coin itself and personally I would love to know the tonnage of that press especially since coins aren't struck hot. It probably is a real coin as it carries a face value and as such probably is considered legal tender.
  • This coin is useless unless I can unwrap it and there is chocolate inside.

    Knock-knock...

    Hello Australia...

    TRICK OR TREAT!!!!!!

  • Heads says I try to think of an "In Soviet Russia" joke.

    Tails says I find someone I don't like to mod down.

  • Look at the picture. For the amount of work they put in, it's a really ugly design. Couldn't they find a decent artist?

Do you suffer painful illumination? -- Isaac Newton, "Optics"

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