Money is something that we use to quantify the value of something. Each note or coin has a face value which is clearly shown, and this is the global system that is applied so that people can exchange money for products in the purchasing process. However, there are some coins that become significantly more valuable than their face value denotes. This is usually because they are extremely rare or very old. They may have been part of a limited production of a particular coin or be one of only a few remaining examples of a coin from a specific era in history. If this is the case, the coin becomes highly collectible and collectors are willing to pay huge sums of money to own the rare coins. Here are five of the most valuable coins that have been sold at auction and it may surprise you to learn how much someone was willing to pay to own such a small metallic object.
5. Edward III Florin 1343 - $6.8 Million
It is the age of this coin that makes it as valuable as it is and is why someone was willing to pay $6.8 million for one at auction. When you consider that this coin has been around for more than 670 years, it is a wonder that any have survived. Just think about how many coins are lost from circulation over the years because people have dropped them down the drain or lost them down the back of the sofa. There are now only three known examples of an Edward III florin in existence. Therefore, it is one of the rarest of all the coins in the world.
4. The Brasher Doubloon 1787 - $7.4 Million
A Wall Street investment firm paid $7.4 million for a Brasher doubloon at auction. The coin was designed by Ephraim Brasher, who was a talented goldsmith. He wanted New York State to start minting coins using his design in copper. However, the state disagreed and said that they did not want coins made from copper. Brasher went ahead with his design anyway but minted most of the coins in bronze. He made just a few of 22-carat gold and it is these that are now so valuable.
3. The Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle 1907 - $7.6 Million
This is another coin that has sold at auction for $7.6 million. The coin was originally designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Unfortunately, this design was extremely complicated and it posed a problem as to how the United States Mint could produce such a coin. To simplify the design for commercial production, the Mint’s chief engraver, Charles Barber, decided to make some modifications to the original design. He removed the phrase ‘In God We Trust’ from the design of the coin. Congress were not pleased with this modification so, although it was produced, only a limited number were made. For this reason, the coin is now extremely rare and valuable.
2. The Double Eagle 1933 - $7.6 Million
This coin has become so valuable because of a circumstantial quirk. This gold coin was pressed in 1933. However, the coin was never released into circulation. This was because President Franklin D. Roosevelt had banned everyone from owning gold in the same year. He did this as part of an attempt to bring the banking crisis to an end as the country's financial situation was causing devastating problems in the United States at that time. Despite them never being officially released, twenty of these coins slipped through the net and these coins now have a staggering value.
1. The Flowing Hair Silver/ Copper Dollar 1794/5 - $10 million
If only every dollar in your pocket was worth $10 million. Unfortunately, there is just one dollar in the world that has achieved this value at auction. You are probably wondering what makes this dollar so special compared to the dollars that are currently in circulation. Well, the highest valued dollar of all-time was the first dollar ever issued by the United States Federal Government. The coin dates back to either 1974 or 1975 and is made of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. When this coin was minted, it was the first issued after the Federal Mint was founded. It is famous for depicting an image of Liberty with her flowing tresses. One of these coins was sold for $10 million in January 2013.
While slightly less valuable, this list of the Most Expensive Pennies Ever Sold at Auction will also interest you.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker