What are the Most Expensive Coins?

What are the Most Expensive Coins?
Posted on April 30, 2024 by BOLD Precious Metals

Imagine a single coin worth more than a luxurious car! Not made of rare gems but of precious metal and with a rich history. Such coins have reached legendary status, fetching millions at auction. For instance, a gold coin minted in 1933 called the Double Eagle was auctioned in 2021 for $18.9 million. Its value is centered in history.

If you’re a coin collector, you must be curious about what makes these coins so valuable and how a single coin can bring you lifelong wealth. Delve into the world of coin collecting with us and uncover the secrets of what the most expensive coin ever sold is!

     What Makes a Coin Valuable?

What Makes a Coin Valuable
  • Rarity

    The rarity of a coin is the most important factor that determines its value.

    One can purposefully produce rarity, as in the case of limited edition coins with low mintage numbers intended to heighten scarcity. The 20-cent coin was released in 1875 and 1876 with the shortest mintage number, making it one of the rarest coins.

    Errors in coin minting or accidental coin issuance are other instances where rarity can be produced by mistake. In 1922, the Denver Mint made a number of Lincoln cents with dull features and a "weak D" mintmark due to heavily worn dies. These errors are called "Plain" or "No D" Lincoln cents, and they are worth over $500 each.

    With this factor, you can find out the most valuable coin and what is the most expensive coin ever sold.

  • Historical Significance

    Coins struck during particular times or occasions may be worth more.

    For instance, New Orleans and Carson City mints produce more valuable Morgan dollars than any other mint.

    Coins struck during particular historical eras or events may be more valuable because they offer insight into the past and are likely to be scarce.

    "The Brasher Doubloon, a gold coin minted privately in 1787 and designed by goldsmith Ephraim Brasher, is worth over $7 million because of its historical significance and connection to the American founding fathers".

  • Condition

    You might be shocked to hear that a coin's condition can sometimes matter more than its age or other characteristics.

    This is due to the fact that very few antique coins—especially those that are no longer in use—are in presentable condition. The good news is that, if desired and in good condition, even a relatively "common" date coin can be valuable.

    A coin from the same year that is in uncirculated condition may be worth many times more than one that is in circulated condition.

  • Collector Demand

    Determining the rarity and value of a coin depends heavily on its mintage.

    What this means is that every coin has a specific mintage number, indicating the exact amount of that particular coin produced at that specific place of origin. The value of a coin increases as its mintage number decreases since there are fewer of them and, therefore, a higher demand. Additionally, collectors are often interested in coins with a lower mintage, which can further increase the value of such coins.

  • Mintage

    When evaluating a coin's rarity and value, mintage plays a crucial role. What does this signify?

    Each coin has a mintage number, which tells us how many of that particular coin was produced at that mintage origin. Because there will be a greater demand for the coins because there are fewer in circulation, the value of the coin increases with the mintage.

    "More collectors also seek out coins with lower mintages, which can raise their numismatic value".

     11 Most Expensive Coins List

1. 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle

1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle

The 1933 "Saint Gaudens" Double Eagle, which sold in June 2021 for an astounding $18,872,250, is the most expensive coin in the world.

Sotheby's conducted an auction of the 1933 Double Eagle on behalf of private collector Stuart Weitzman. The coin was last sold in 2003 when it brought $7,370,000 at auction.

This coin is extremely rare and in amazing condition. It was rated Gem Brilliant Uncirculated—PCGS MS 65 CAC.

Almost all of the 445,500 coins that were struck in 1933 were melted down when the United States abandoned the gold standard.

Name of Coin1933 "Saint Gaudens" Double Eagle
Price at Auction (June 2021)$18,872,250
Previous Auction Price (2003)$7,370,000
ConditionGem Brilliant Uncirculated—PCGS MS 65 CAC
Mintage445,500 coins (1933)
Unique FeatureOnly 1933 gold Double Eagle is legally owned by private collectors.
Reason for High PriceRarity, exceptional condition, legality for private ownership

2. 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar

1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar

According to CNN, the Flowing Hair Dollar 1794 silver dollar, graded PCGS SP66, broke the previous record for the highest price ever paid for a rare coin when it sold for $10,016,875 at auction in 2013.

Due to its significance in history, the Flowing Hair Dollar is still highly sought after by collectors.

Mintage records show that 1,758 pieces were produced in 1794.

In fact, all 1794 dollars are extremely rare; there may be fewer than 150 in circulation today. Not everyone required $10 million. In actuality, a 1794 dollar with a Fine-12 grade typically costs $150,000.

Name of CoinFlowing Hair Dollar 1794 silver dollar
Name of Coin$10,016,875
GradingPCGS SP66
Mintage1,758 pieces (1794)
Estimated Survival TodayLess than 150 exist.
Average Price (Fine-12 Grade)$150,000
Reason for High PriceHistorical importance, rarity, exceptional condition

3. 1787 Brasher Doubloon - EB on Wing

1787 Brasher Doubloon - EB on Wing

Ephraim Brasher, a goldsmith, created the 1787 "Brasher" Doubloon Gold Coin.

When the legislature of the State of New York rejected Brasher's request to mint new copper coins, he worked alone to create these gold coins and copper coins.

In January 2021, Heritage Auctions sold a Brasher Doubloon in MS 65 grade for $9.36 million, setting a record for the highest price ever paid for a gold coin at a public auction. Dallas, Texas-based Heritage Auctions handled the sale.

Name of Coin1787 "Brasher" Doubloon Gold Coin
CreatorEphraim Brasher
Reason for CreationNew York legislature's refusal to mint new copper coins
GradeMS 65
Price at Auction (January 2021)$9.36 million
Auction HouseHeritage Auctions, Dallas, Texas
Unique FeatureWorld record for the highest price paid for a gold coin in a public auction

4. 1822 Half Eagle - (1822 Capped Bust Half Eagle)

1822 Half Eagle - (1822 Capped Bust Half Eagle)

One of the most expensive gold coins ever sold at auction was the 1822 Capped Bust Half Eagle, a $5 face value coin that fetched $8.4 million in 2021.

The coin is a noteworthy historical collectible in America.

According to the financial publication, the auction house's president, Brian Kendrella, stated that the 1822 Half Eagle is currently the most valuable gold coin minted by the United States ever sold at auction. "It is currently the third-most valuable coin that has ever been auctioned off."

Name of Coin1822 Capped Bust Half Eagle
Face Value$5
Price at Auction (2021)$8.4 million
GSignificanceOne of America's most notable historic collectibles
Ranking in Auction SalesThird-most valuable coin ever sold at auction.

5. 1804 dollar (1804 Draped Bust Dollar)

1804 dollar (1804 Draped Bust Dollar)

The United States Mint produced the rare and well-liked 1804 Draped Bust dollar, also referred to as the Bowed Liberty Dollar, starting in 1834.

The coin weighs 26.96 grams and has a diameter of 39 mm.Although it was copied in 1804, very few coins were struck in that year. Rather, all of them were struck in the 1830s or later.

An 1804 Draped Bust Silver Dollar's worth is determined by the market value and the coin's condition. An 1804 silver dollar was the second most valuable U.S. dollar ever sold in 2021 when it brought in $7.68 million.

The 1804 Silver Dollar is not just a coin; it's a symbol of American numismatic history and diplomacy.

Name of Coin1804 Draped Bust dollar
Alternate NameBowed Liberty Dollar
Diameter39 mm
Weight26.96 grams
Original Minting Year1804 (reproduced later)
SignificanceRare and popular American coin, a symbol of American numismatic history and diplomacy
Record Price (2021)$7.68 million
Average Auction Value Range$2 million to $7 million

6. 1787 Brasher Doubloon EB on Chest

1804 dollar (1804 Draped Bust Dollar)

After the country's Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776, the Brasher Doubloon of 1787 was the first gold coin ever minted in the United States.

The coin was made by private goldsmith Ephraim Brasher, and it was probably minted using the pressure molding method.

Ephraim Brasher struck the 1787 Brasher Doubloon EB on Breast, an early American gold coin. His initials, "EB", and name are printed on the coin's eagle's breast. Other names for it include the "Palmerly coin" and the "Bushnell coin."

An AP news article published on December 12, 2011, revealed that Blanchard and Co. from New Orleans facilitated the sale of the one-of-a-kind "EB on Breast" Brasher Doubloon.

The coin was sold for $7.4 million, which made it one of the most expensive coins in the United States. The identity of the seller remains unknown, while the buyer is an unnamed Wall Street investment firm.

Name of Coin1787 Brasher Doubloon
Minting Year1787
Minted ForState of New York
Minting ProcessLikely pressure molding
MakerEphraim Brasher
Unique Feature"EB" initials on the eagle's breast
Alternate Names"Bushnell coin" or "Palmerly coin"
Sale DateDecember 12, 2011
Sale Price$7.4 million
BuyerUnnamed Wall Street Investment firm
SignificanceThe first gold coin minted in the United States, one of the most valuable US coins

7. 1861 Liberty Head Double Eagle

1861 Liberty Head Double Eagle

The first year that the combined mintages of the three mints producing the coinage at the time approached 4 million was the 1861 Liberty Head $20 Gold Coin.

Another modification was the production of two reverse designs that year: Anthony C. Paquet's and James B. Longacre's original.

Paquet's and James B. Longacre's original. Many aspects of Longacre's work were retained in the Paquet design; however, some minor details, like the arrangement of the thirteen stars, are different from the regular reverse, and the letters on the reverse are taller.

As of April 2024, the NGC Price Guide places the value of an 1861 Liberty Head double eagle in circulated condition between $2,425 and $4,500. On the other hand, 1861 Double Eagles in perfect, uncirculated condition can fetch up to $375,000 when sold publicly.

A Proof 1861 double eagle set a record for auction price at $483,000. On the other hand, the 1861 Paquet Double Eagle, MS67, which is among the rarest American numismatic coins, sold for $7.2 million, the highest price ever paid for a $20 Liberty gold coin.

Name of Coin1861 Liberty Head $20 Gold Coin
Minting Year1861
Total MintagesApproached 4 million across three mints
Reverse DesignsOriginal by James B. Longacre and a second by Anthony C. Paquet
Paquet Design FeaturesTaller letters on reverse, different 13 star placement
Value (Circulated)$2,425 to $4,500 (as of April 2024, NGC Price Guide)
Value (Uncirculated)Up to $375,000 (open market)
Auction Record (Proof)$483,000
Auction Record (Paquet MS67)$7.2 million

8. 1913 Liberty Head nickel

1913 Liberty Head nickel

These priceless coins are not listed in the official United States Mint records.

In spite of the fact that the Indian Head nickel had taken its place, there are five known examples of the 1913 Liberty Head V Nickel.

Three of the most valuable nickels are in circulation among those who collect rare coins privately, while the other two are housed in museum collections. 2018 saw one of the most recent sales, bringing in $4,560,000 (or $5,262,100 in 2023 currency).

Name of Coin1913 Liberty Head V Nickel
Number of Known SpecimensFive known specimens exist.
Specimen LocationsTwo in museum collections, three in private collections
Recent Sale (2018)$4,560,000 (equivalent to $5,262,100 in 2023 dollars)
Official RecordsNot listed in official records, but recognized in the numismatic community

9. 2007 Canadian Gold Maple Leaf

2007 Canadian Gold Maple Leaf

A $1 million (CAD) gold coin weighing 100 kilograms (220 pounds) (3,215 troy ounces) is called the Big Maple Leaf (BML).

The first BML coin produced is still in storage. The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) created a set of five of these coins in 2007 at their Ottawa facility.

In 2007, Guinness World Records acknowledged the Big Maple Leaf as the largest gold coin in the world and for its exceptional .99999 percent purity.

In 2010, a 2007 Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin brought $4.03 million at auction, which Oro Direct, a Spanish company, purchased.

Name of CoinBig Maple Leaf (BML)
Value$1 million (CAD)
Weight100 kilograms (220 lb)
Gold Content3,215 troy ounces
Production Year2007
Production QuantitySet of five coins
RecognitionGuinness World Record for the world's biggest gold coin, 99.999% gold purity
First Coin LocationStored in Royal Canadian Mint's Ottawa facility
Record Sale$4.03 million in 2010 (Canadian Gold Maple Leaf)

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