Rummage through your old purses, for you never know if you have some old coin that you have ignored and is now worth millions of dollars. Imagine, coins that you have taken for granted, that you use to feed the parking meter, the loose change that you flip over without paying any mind, may someday cost tons and tons of money.
How valuable and rare are they, you may ask? Let us just say that there are more than 200 historic coins in the United States that are valued at more than a million dollars. The estimated total value of all these coins combined is around $550 million. And you can expect its price to keep on rising. The prices of these rare coins have gone up by up to 50 percent in just a couple of years.
So which coins are the most expensive in the world? The value of the coin will always be connected to its rarity. Here then is a list of the top ten rarest coins in the world.
1. 1849 Double Eagle – $20 million
The United States Mint in Philadelphia created this extremely rare coin in 1849 during the start of the California gold rush. This Double Eagle gold piece was released in denominations of $20. Just a couple of years ago, the value of the coin was estimated to be at $15 million. Just a year later, its value has risen by a third. The first-ever piece of the 1849 Double Eagle can be found at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Numismatic Collection.
2. 1877 Half Union – $15 million
The Smithsonian holds two types of this coin, one with pattern J-1546 and the other with pattern J-1548. The 1877 Half Union is a gold pattern coin released in denominations of $50. Its estimated grade is Proof 67. A couple of year ago, the coins were valued at $10 million each. It has since gone up by 50 percent.
3. 1907 Saint Gaudens – $8.5 million
This coin was released in $20 denominations in 1907. The 1907 double thick extremely high relief Saint Gaudens has an estimated grade of Proof 69. The Smithsonian has two copies of this rare coin.
4. 1794 Silver Dollar – $7.85 million
This 1794 coin is believed to be the first silver dollar struck by the United States Mint. It is also known as the Flowing Hair dollar. This coin is the most expensive coin that is owned by a private collector. It is considered to be extremely rare and a veritable national treasure.
5. 1933 Double Eagle – $7.59 million
The Saint Gaudens gold double eagle coin actually had 445,500 specimens created in 1933. It was also the last year that it got produced. They were never circulated and practically every piece was melted down after the government decided to discontinue the use of the gold standard in that year. There may have been some pieces that got saved, however, including one that was sold for $7.59 million in an auction.
6. 1804 Silver Dollar – $7.5 million
Only 15 of this silver dollar were ever minted in 1834. A Class I, or original, silver dollar was given to the Sultan of Muscat in 1836 as a diplomatic gift by the American ambassador in behalf of then U.S. President Andrew Jackson. This coin with Proof 68 is now valued at $7.5 million. A similar coin, minted in the same year and belonging to the same class and coming from the batch of gift to the Sultan, has a lower grade of Proof 67. This second coin has been valued at $6.5 million.
7. 1822 Half Eagle – $6 million
The 1822 Half Eagle has an estimated grade of Extremely Fine 45. It was released in $5 denomination. Around 17,796 pieces of this gold coin were struck, but there are only three surviving specimens known in the numismatic world. Two of the three are in the collection of the Smithsonian.
8. 1913 Liberty Head – $4.5 million
The Liberty Head is actually a 5-cent coin released in 1913. Only a limited quantity was ever minted, and reports have it that it was done without the authorization and approval of the United States Mint. The coin has held several records, including being the first one to break the hundred thousand dollar barrier, when a specimen of this coin was sold for over that amount in 1972. Just 24 years later, it became the first coin to break the one million dollar barrier when it went for $1.485 million in 1996. Only five Liberty Head coins are known to be in existence, with two displayed in a museum and the other three remaining in the hands of private collectors. In 2010, a collector bought one of the five coins in an auction for $3.7 million. The coin is now said to be worth around $4.5 million.
9. 2007 Queen Elizabeth II Million Dollar Coin – $4 million
The Royal Canadian Mint made this 2007 coin. The coin has a face value of one million dollars, which is actually below the value of the coin’s material. That is because this coin is made exclusively of the purest, finest and most refined gold at 999.99/1000 gold. It is so heavy that not even two fairly built men can lift it up. The coin weighs an astounding 100 kilos and measures 53 centimeters in diameter. It shows the image of Queen Elizabeth II, the largest official portrait of the monarch in solid gold. At the back are three maple leaves, which is the national symbol of the North American country. The coin was originally on loan to one of the largest numismatics collection in the world at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna before it got auctioned off.
10. 1787 Brasher Doubloon EB on Wing – $2.415 million
This is a gold coin made by the goldsmith Ephraim Brasher. The coin features an eagle, with the goldsmith’s initials printed on its wings. There is actually a similar coin that has the same characteristics, though the initials are printed on the breasts, not the wings.