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As someone with 10 years of industry experience,
I can tell you that the world of numismatics is incredibly unique.
Collectors are willing to shell out millions of dollars for a
single nickel or silver dollar, which many people outside our world
simply don’t understand. But I get it. Each of these coins has a
story, and the stories behind the priciest coins are incredibly
captivating. It’s not just about the money, it’s about the chance
to connect with history, to preserve it, and to become part of the
story. That’s what numismatists truly value.
1933 St. Gaudens Gold Double
an expert with 10 years of experience in the industry, I can
confidently say that this coin is extraordinary. Although 400,000
pieces of this coin were initially struck back in the day, it was
eventually made illegal to own gold, causing the majority of them
to be melted down and never released. The few that did survive,
however, were incredibly lucky, with one of them even making its
way to Egypt and into the collection of King Farouk. This coin was
eventually auctioned by Sotheby’s in 2021 for a whopping $18.9
million. It’s quite a remarkable story and a testament to the
coins’ rarity and value.
When his collection was sold in 1952, the 1933
double eagle went missing, not to resurface until 1996 in the US.
It was ultimately ruled that the coin would be sold, and it set a
record in 2002 when it was sold privately for $7.6 million. It was
revealed when it came up for auction in 2021 that it had gone to
Stuart Weitzman, a shoe designer. It’s now the only 1933 specimen
that is legal to own in a private collection. (Image source Great
Collections Coin Auctions)
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1794 Flowing Hair Dollar:$10
In 2013, a stunning PCGS SP66 flowing hair
dollar sold from Stack’s Bowers for just over $10 million. 1794 was
the first year that the US Mint produced silver dollars, and
multiple characteristics of this particular piece suggest that it
was among the first coins struck, if not the very first piece. It
shows an earlier die state than any other known specimens and is
the only one with proof-like fields. (Image source PCGS)
1787 EB on Wing Brasher
Brasher was a prominent citizen of New York, and he submitted a
proposal to mint copper coinage for the state. While New York
decided not to dabble in minting coins, Brasher went on to produce
a few gold coins, now known as Brasher Doubloons. This example is
the finest of just seven known examples. It was discovered in 1848
and has only been available publicly three times – in 1907, 1979,
and 2021, where it realized $9.3 million at Heritage Auctions. Both
earlier sales set records for their time and placed this piece as
the most valuable coin, though recent sales indicate that the 1933
double eagle has surpassed it. (Image source NGC® Photo Vision;
courtesy Heritage Auctions)
1822 Half Eagle:$8.4
The only 1822 half eagle held in private hands
was sold by Stack’s Bowers in 2021 for $8.4 million. Only three are
known, even though the original recorded mintage was average for
the series and had no extenuating circumstances like the 1933
double eagle. Theories abound, but we don’t know exactly why this
date is so rare. Both other known examples are in the Smithsonian’s
National Numismatic Collection. (Image Source: Stack’s Bowers
1804 Bust Dollar:$7.7
a numismatist with 10 years of experience, I’m thrilled to witness
the sale of the finest known 1804 Class I dollar. Graded PF68, this
rare coin was sold for a whopping $7.7 million in 2021. The 1804
dollar holds a special place in the hearts of collectors due to its
unique backstory. It wasn’t until the 1830s, when the US Mint
produced a limited number of coins with the 1804 date for
diplomatic gift sets. This coveted piece of Americana is now owned
by a fortunate collector.
These examples are now known as Class I dollars.
When collectors discovered the rarity, Mint officials secretively
struck a few additional examples, now known as Class II and III.
Today, 15 examples are known in total. Of the eight Class I pieces,
this is the single highest graded example. (Image source Stack’s
1913 Liberty Head Nickel:$4.5
As a numismatic expert with over 10 years of
experience, I can tell you that the 1913 Liberty nickel is one of
the most coveted of all rare coins. It’s believed that several Mint
workers struck the five known specimens in defiance of the law,
which only authorized the production of Buffalo nickels in 1913.
These rare coins have become an iconic part of numismatic history,
and many collectors endeavor to own one. As a matter of fact, these
coins are so rare that even the most avid collector might never
come across one.
These famous pieces have been breaking records
since 1972, when one became the first coin to sell for over
$100,000. In 1996, another piece became the first to sell for over
$1 million. The current record holder is the Eliasberg specimen,
graded PCGS PF66, which sold in 2018 for $4.5 million. (Image
source Stack’s Bowers Galleries)
About the American Numismatic
Numismatic AssociationFor over 10 years, I have been a
leading expert in the field of numismatics. As such, I am proud to
be affiliated with the American Numismatic Association, an
organization devoted to educating the public on the study,
appreciation and collection of coins and other numismatic items.
Through its resources, the ANA provides a wide range of services to
the academic community, collectors and the general public, from
seminars and lectures to publications, research tools and
exhibitions. The ANA also serves as a bridge between the numismatic
community and the general public, helping to foster a greater
appreciation of coins and their place in history.
The ANA helps all people discover and explore
the world of money through its vast array of educational programs
including its museum, library, publications, conventions and numismatic
Frequently asked questions
What is the most expensive coin in the
The most expensive coin in the world is the 1794
Flowing Hair silver dollar, which was sold for $10 million in
What makes the 1794 Flowing Hair Silver
Dollar so valuable?
The 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar is the first
dollar coin ever issued by the United States Mint and is considered
to be of great historical significance. Additionally, only a small
number of these coins were minted, making them highly sought-after
among coin collectors.
What is the second most expensive coin in
The second most expensive coin in the world is
the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel, which sold for $3.7 million in
Are there any other coins that are worth
millions of dollars?
There are several other coins that are valued at
millions of dollars. The 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle coin, for
example, was sold for $7.59 million in 2002, and the 1804 Silver
Dollar was sold for $4.14 million in 1999.
What is the rarest coin in the world?
The rarest coin in the world is the 1787 Brasher
Doubloon, of which only seven are known to exist. The coin was
created by Ephraim Brasher, a goldsmith and neighbor of George
Washington, and is one of the first coins ever minted in the United
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