I really wonder about us humans sometimes.
Yesterday, burglars broke into a museum in Berlin and stole a gold coin. Not just any gold coin. This was a monster weighing 100 kilos. It was cast in 2007 by the Royal Canadian Mint. Its nominal value is one million Canadian dollars.
Three questions come to mind.
First, why would anybody in their right mind create such an artefact, and call it a coin? It’s not as if you’d take it into a MacDonalds – on a fork lift truck presumably – and use it to buy a couple of Big Macs.
Second, why would anybody, having made the thing, stick it in a museum, where it can be stolen by Ocean’s Eleven? It will be melted down apparently, which would be entirely understandable given that the value of the gold is about four times the nominal value. In other words, turned back into ingots. And ingots, as most of us who have seen Goldfinger know, are kept in places like Fort Knox, where they’re stored behind six foot thick steel doors and protected by at least a dozen companies of Navy Seals with enough weaponry to defend a medium-sized city.
And finally, what’s the point? Apparently five were originally minted. For whom, and for what purpose? As bling for ceremonial elephants? As portable wealth for Mexican drug barons? I could understand someone using a spare stash of gold to create something aesthetically pleasing – a statue of the Buddha, perhaps, or a golden calf. But a coin?
But then I had a thought. I would bet at least a quarter-pounder with cheese that one of the proud owners has it mounted in a secret treasure room within his golden palace overlooking New York.
One of the world’s most ridiculous, vulgar and pointless lumps of metal would be perfect for the ridiculous, vulgar and pointless waste of space masquerading as the leader of the free world, would it not?