A giant gold coin christened "Big Maple Leaf" and bearing the image of Queen Elizabeth II has been stolen from a museum in Berlin, despite it weighing in at over 100kg.
The coin itself is made from a solid slab of pure gold, giving it both great value and weight at the same time. Given its particularly high purity level, the gold coin is believed to have a market value of over $4million (£3.2million).
The Bode Museum in Berlin state that the coin was originally issued by the Royal Canadian Mint back in 2007 and was highlighted in the Guinness Book of Records for its 'unmatched' degree of purity. Markus Farr, acting as spokesman for the museum, was disappointed to announce "The coin was stolen last night (Monday), it's gone".
As it stands, the Bode Museum is one of the world's largest coin collections and contains more than 540,000 items.
With a diameter of 53cm (1ft 8ins) and 3cm thick, the coin was loaned to the museum back in December 2010 where it has been ever since until this week's events. Police have stated that it was most likely stolen by a small group of thieves who entered the museum through an unsecured window, possibly using a ladder.
“Based on the information we have so far, we believe that the thief, maybe thieves, broke open a window in the back of the museum next to the railway tracks,” said a police spokesman, Winfrid Wenzel. “They then managed to enter the building and went to the coin exhibition.
“The coin was secured with bullet-proof glass inside the building. That much I can say,” Wenzel added. “Neither I nor the Bode Museum can go into detail regarding personnel inside the building, the alarm system or security installations.”
The investigation to find the coin is ongoing.