A RARE, GIANT GOLD COIN containing 3,215 ounces of gold failed to sell for the 28% premium its auctioneers expected this week.
One of only five ever made (another is thought to belong to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, according to the Wall Street Journal), the giant Canadian Gold Maple Leaf is 75 cm (30") in diameter and 3cm (1.2") thick. The Gold Coin was sold after its owner, Austrian finance manager Wolfgang Auer von Welsbach was taken to jail on charges of fraud and embezzlement, and then filed for bankruptcy.
The 100 kilos of fine gold in the giant Gold Coin sold for the auctioneer's opening price of €3.27 million ($4.0m), failing to reach the €4m ($4.9m) forecast by expert Michael Beckers at auction house Dorotheum in Vienna. He advised von Welsbach's liquidators to sell quickly and take advantage of the near-record Gold Price in Euros.
Von Welsbach, whose group allegedly sold €400 million (nearly $500m) of share certificates to investors despite holding only €229m in assets, is being investigated for trading securities without a license, share-price manipulation, and illegally skimming company funds.
Bought by Madrid-based Oro Direct, a gold trading company, the giant Gold Coin failed to attract any counter offers, reports Reuters, "in an auction room packed with more journalists than potential buyers."
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