$1 million coin: Too big to pocket. Too heavy to lift. [Video]

$1 million coin from Australia is bigger than a manhole cover and weighs a ton. So what will Australia do with a $1 million coin?

Tim Wimborne / Reuters / File
The Perth Mint in Australia (pictured here in 2008) has just unveiled the world's biggest, heaviest, most valuable gold coin. As legal tender, it's an Australian $1 million coin. On the market, it's worth more than 50 times that.
Torsten BLACKWOOD/AFP/Newscom
A security guard watches over a $1 million dollar coin from Australia – the biggest and heaviest gold coin in the world – at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth Thursday. The coin, which weighs more than a ton, took 18 months to make ans is worth more than US $55 million.

The Perth Mint unveiled a gold coin Thursday that stretches the definition of pocket change.

It's more than 31 inches wide and nearly 5 inches deep (imagine one really thick manhole cover). And it weighs 1.1 tons – not exactly walking around money.

Officially, the gold kangaroo is legal tender, picturing a kangaroo on one side and Queen Elizabeth II on the other. Although its face value is $1 million Australian (US $1.07 million), it's 99.99 percent pure gold, which makes its actual worth some about US $55 million at current gold prices.

The official Perth Mint, which created the coin, called it in a statement: " the biggest, heaviest, inherently most valuable gold bullion coin in the world."

That's quite a feat. But since it's unlikely the mint will sell the coin or make any other ones, what exactly does one do with a giant gold coin worth roughly the annual pay for the Florida Marlins baseball team?

"Why did we do it?" asks Ed Harbuz, chief executive officer of the Perth Mint, in a video about the making of the coin (see below). "The Australian kangaroo gold bullion coin is one of the most popular bullion coins in the world. But we want to raise its profile even more. ... The one-tonne gold coin will be another attraction people can enjoy when they visit the mint."

And it doesn't hurt that with the giant golden kangaroo, Australia grabs bragging rights away from rival Canada. Until now, the Royal Canadian Mint had the world's largest gold coins at 100 kilograms apiece, according to Guinness World Records.

The Canadian coin is impressive, but only one-tenth the weight of Australia's newest and most valuable kangaroo.

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