Although we use them less and less as a form of currency in our digital age, there are several coins in the world today that are worth exponentially more than their face value. Based on their age, rarity, printing errors and historical importance, these highly sought-after coins have fetched staggering sums at auction.
We’ve taken a look at the top 10 most expensive coins in the world and why they are valued so highly.
10. Liberty Head Nickel (1913) – Hawaii Five-O Star ($3.7 Million)
The 10th most expensive coin on our list is the 2013 Liberty Head Nickel. Legend has it that the coin was one of five that was stolen from the US Mint by an ex-employee and made its way into private auctions and coin collections.
This coin has also reached celebrity status, appearing on the ‘70s TV series, Hawaii Five-O.
The Liberty Head Nickel was last sold at auction in 2007 for $3,737,500.
9. Bust Dollar – Class 1 – Dexter-Poque Specimen (1804) ($3.8 Million)
Coming in at number nine, this 1804 Bust Dollar is an extremely unique and valuable coin due to its long-standing history. It also has a small “D” printed in a cloud on the back of the coin. This marking indicates the coin belonged to a wealthy Numismatist named James V. Dexter.
First discovered in Germany in 1804, this coin is highly desirable amongst coin collectors, as only eight known class 1 coins have ever been made.
This coin was sold at auction in 2017 for $3,865,750.
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8. $1 Million Gold Canadian Maple Leaf (2007) ($4.02 Million)
Sold in 2010 for a staggering $4,020,000 by Dorotheum Auction House, the Gold Maple Leaf coin is one of the most expensive coins in the world.
It was the world’s first million-dollar coin produced right here at home by the Canadian Mint in 2007. The coin was made to help promote the Royal Canadian Mint’s new line of 99.999% pure one Troy ounce Gold Maple leaf bullion coins.
The coin is also made of 99.999% pure gold and weighs an impressive 10kgs. Only five of these coins have been purchased by coin collectors.
7. Silver Dollar Class 1 – 1804 – (The Watters-Childs Specimen) ($4.1 Million)
The Silver Dollar Class 1 from 1804 is the seventh most expensive coin in the world.
In 1999, the coin sold for $4.1 million dollars. This specimen, known as the “King of U.S Coins,” is the best-known example of an 1804 Silver dollar.
The coin has had an impressive cast of owners over the years, including The Sultan of Muscat, Henry Chapman, Virgil Brand and the Poque family.
6. Liberty Head Nickel – Morton-Smith-Eliaspberg (1913) ($4.5 Million)
At an auction in 2018, the Morton-Smith-Eliaspberg Liberty Head Nickel, and the eighth-most expensive coin on our list, fetched $4,560,000 at auction.
One of the reasons for its value and rarity is its beautiful mirror-like surface. This coin is one of only five known specimens and is considered to be the finest known example on the planet.
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5. Edward III Florin (1343) ($6.8 Million)
At 670 years old, the fifth most expensive coin in the world is the oldest on our list and valued at almost $7 million.
The coin is highly valued due to its age and rarity. It’s thought to be one of only three of these types of coins to still exist. Many leading Numismatists also believe no identical coin will ever be found.
4. Brasher Doubloon (1787) ($7.4 Million)
Not everyone loves the idea of a penny! The 1787 Brasher Doubloon was produced to help Ephriam Brasher convince the state of New York to use copper coins instead of gold.
The state wasn’t interested, but that didn’t stop Brasher from minting his own coins anyway. Due to their rarity and legendary backstory, these coins are considered extremely valuable and are highly sought after by collectors.
In 2011, a Wall Street investment firm paid $7.4 million for one of these coins at auction.
3. Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle (1907) ($7.6 Million)
The Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle 1907 was a tricky coin to reproduce on a mass scale. In fact, it’s complicated design led to a halt in its production, requiring some amendments to the design.
US Mint Chief Engraver at the time, Charles Barber, chose to remove the words “In God We Trust” from the coin.
While this decision didn’t go down well with Congress, it did make the coin extremely valuable, as it’s now worth almost $8 million.
[Read our blog: Supplies a beginner needs to start a coin collection]
2. Double Eagle (1933) ($7.6 Million)
Another Double Eagle takes the second spot on our list. Minted in 1933, this coin was recalled from circulation and melted by the US Mint. This was due to then-President Theodore Roosevelt’s ban on owning gold in an attempt to curtail the banking crisis.
A small number of 1993 dated Double Eagles escaped from the mint’s vaults. Interestingly, they are still illegal, and if you’re found with one, it will be seized immediately.
However, one private owner managed to acquire one of these coins (originally owned by King Farouk of Egypt) at auction in 2002 for $7,590,020. The new owner was then forced to sell the coin and split the proceeds with the US Mint.
1. Flowing Hair Silver/Copper Dollar (1794/5) ($10 Million)
And the most expensive coin in the world is the 1794/5 Flowing Hair Silver/Copper Dollar.
Many leading Numismatics believe this was the first silver coin to be minted and issued by the US Federal Government.
In 2013, it set a new world record for the most expensive single coin sale ever, selling for just over $10 million.
Collectors have preserved this historic coin for more than 200 years, adding more value to the coin’s story and price tag.
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