“The Ultimate,” a one-of-a-kind one-kilo pure platinum coin issued by the Royal Canadian Mint with hundreds of pink diamonds from the famed Argyle mine, sold for $1.261 million after flurried bidding during a live auction conducted in Toronto.
The selling price, which includes the buyer’s premium, surpasses its pre-sale estimates of $700,000-$900,000. Described by the Mint as a “singular masterpiece of numismatic art,” it sold to an anonymous bidder on May 31 while setting a new record for a coin offered at auction in Canada.
“The Ultimate is the highest expression of the innovation, skill and craftsmanship of the people who continue to make the Royal Canadian Mint a global leader in the art and science of coin manufacturing,” said Mint Master Marie Lemay, the Crown corporation’s president and CEO.
“It has been an incredible opportunity for Heffel to work with the Mint and help make history with the sale of the Ultimate,” said David Heffel, the president of Heffel Fine Art Auction House, which conducted the sale. “This one-of-a-kind masterpiece is an artwork of the highest calibre and it has been an honour to place it in an outstanding collection. We look forward to following its historic journey for decades to come.”
The Ultimate is the “crowning showpiece” of the Mint’s newly launched Opulence Collection, according to the Crown corporation. It is also the Mint’s first one-kilo 99.95 per cent pure platinum coin. Polished to proof perfection, it features a reverse design by Canadian artist Derek Wicks that brings the beauty of the cherry blossom to life on a 101.6-millimetre canvas. A total of 462 “fancy vivid” and “fancy intense” pink diamonds (with a total weight of 6.5 carats) from the Argyle mine have been hand set into rose-gold-plated, platinum-cast jewellery pieces fashioned by Beverly Hills Jewellers.