The famous “Big Maple Leaf” gold coin was stolen from a German museum back in March and during a huge raid on Wednesday, law enforcement agents in Germany were able to round up the culprits believed responsible for the heist. This was no easy feat, as getting the coin out of the museum took a little bit of ingenuity and muscle, according to reports. Police believe at least two men that they now have in custody got that coin out of an exhibit at the museum, a museum that is home to the largest coin collection in the world.
On Wednesday, hundreds of special German officers conducted raids across the city of Berlin that included searching through several buildings, looking for the stolen gold coin and the suspects in the museum heist. The coin is made from 24 karat gold and it’s worth is somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 million.
Berlin’s Bode Museum was home to the coin since 2010, but back in March, a rather elaborate heist was successful and the coin has not been seen since that time. With heavy weapons in tow and wearing masks, the special German officers conducted the raids rounding up four suspects between the ages of 18 and 20. All four suspects are related, reports the Island Packet News.
In art news: German police nab four suspects in the hunt for a 220-pound gold coin. Valued at nearly $4 million, it was stolen from Berlin's Bode-Museum. The #coin was not recovered in the operation; experts assume it has been melted down. Interestingly, The Bode boasts one of the largest coin collections in the world, with more than 540,000 items. #coins #coin #numismatics #heist #artheist #gold #goldcoin #bode #bodemuseum #berlin #germany #queenelizabeth #thebigmapleleaf #artnews
Coin pillage in the Berlin Bode Museum "Big Maple Leaf" presumably destroyed pic.twitter.com/hhBjl0V4RA
— Wolfgang K.J.Exl (@YulinFx) July 12, 2017
Despite the tedious search conducted with these raids, there wasn’t a sign of the gold coin. At 220 pounds, and being the size of a manhole cover, it isn’t an easy coin to hide. Now the search has taken the officers in a different direction. They are looking for traces of gold in the suspects’ cars and clothes. They are hoping to find any sign of gold specks, which they hope will lead them to where the gold coin ended up. The coin has the image of Queen Elizabeth II’s head on the front side and a maple leaf on the back side.
The stolen gold coin is a reproduction of the original, which was produced by the Royal Canadian Mint back in 2007. Deemed the “World’s Largest Coin” by the Guinness Book of World Records, the coin earned the nickname “The Big Maple Leaf” because of the leaf on the backside of the coin.
While law enforcement officers continue to look for any signs of the coin, they are fairly sure that part of it and maybe even all of it is gone. According to Fox News, police suspect the culprits melted the coin to sell it for the gold. Others have also suggested the culprits melted the coin and some have even theorized that they broke it into pieces with a sledgehammer to be able to sell the gold in pieces.
“It’s 99.999 percent purity and gold content boost the actual value to about $3.9 million in U.S. dollars, according to today’s gold price index,” According to the Island Packet News.
[Featured Image by Lilli Strauss/AP Images]