Description: The Big Nickel is a nine-metre (30-foot) replica of a 1951 Canadian nickel, located at the grounds of Dynamic Earth in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. It is listed in the Guinness Book of Records, as the world's largest coin.
The nickel was originally proposed by Sudbury businessman Ted Szilva in the early 1960s as a project to mark the upcoming Canadian centennial. The Canadian centennial committee rejected the proposal, but Szilva continued to develop the idea as a private project. In cooperation with local artist Bruno Cavallo, Szilva developed a monument consisting of two vertical columns and several angled iron pieces framing an inside layer of metal skin, a middle layer of plywood and an outer layer of stainless steel sheet metal.
The coin was erected in 1964, and the site officially opened on July 22 of that year. Penny and dime monuments and a small children's amusement park were also erected on the same site. However, because of the particular prominence of nickel in the city's mining industry, the Big Nickel surpassed the other coins as a landmark and an international symbol of Sudbury. In 1965, Szilva also added a mine shaft on the site to offer visitors a tour of a mining facility.
In 1981, Szilva sold the Big Nickel site to Science North, the city's newly incorporated science museum. Science North refurbished the site, removing the other coins and the children's rides, but retaining the Big Nickel and expanding the mine tour.
On January 22, 2001, the Big Nickel was dismantled for refurbishing of both the coin and the facility. Once refurbished, the coin was installed on the grounds of Science North, as the original Big Nickel site was redesigned into the Dynamic Earth facility. On May 10, 2003, the coin was moved back to a new pedestal on the Dynamic Earth grounds.