Although coin collecting is not one of the most popular hobbies, it is certainly one of the most expensive. The unique stories and curiosities associated with precious pieces additionally make some of them even more valuable to collectors all over the world. Which coins are considered the most valuable in the history of numismatics?
Edward III Florin
This coin, minted in 1343, was auctioned off for $6.8 million. Several factors contribute to the uniqueness of the coin, one of which is its composition. Created in medieval times, the coin was worth a mere 6 shillings, but its discovery in the River Tyne in Britain in the 19th century made its value increase significantly.
The Edward II double florin was struck almost entirely from pure gold. It was originally intended to be used not only within England but also throughout Europe, but its light weight caused it to be withdrawn from circulation after a few months. The more than 700-year-old specimen is one of three pieces dating back to 1343, which is why it belongs to the group of the rarest coins in the world.
At an auction at a London auction house, it cost nearly $7 million to own it, although its twin was sold for just £460,000 in 2006.
The Brasher Doubloon
The coin dates back to the 18th century and has been among the most coveted pieces by collectors in the U.S. numismatic market for more than 100 years, as it was struck during the development of minting in the United States. At a remote auction held in January, the coin was made available for sale. This was only the 8th opportunity to purchase this valuable piece since World War II.
Struck in 1787, the coin was made of gold, although most of the coins created at the time were made of bronze. It is the gold pieces that are now being snapped up by collectors, with the new owner paying $7.4 million for one piece. The Brasher Doubloon is believed to be the oldest gold coin in the United States that was never used as legal tender there.
The design by Ephraim Brasher, a New York goldsmith of Dutch descent, depicts the New York State coat of arms with the mountain and the Hudson River on the obverse, while the reverse features an eagle with a shield on its chest, the national emblem of the United States.
The Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle
Struck in 1907, the coin was meant to represent the power of the United States. The $20 piece has the Roman goddess of liberty Libertas on the obverse and an eagle in flight on the reverse. The name Double Eagle comes from the popular term for a $10 coin, called an eagle.
The coin was created in only a few copies, so its value on the numismatic market is very high. For many years during the lawsuit surrounding the right to the coin, the valuable memorabilia was stored at the World Trade Center. They were removed from the depository just two months before the tragic terrorist attacks in 2001. At an auction in 2002, The Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle sold in minutes for nearly $7.6 million.
The Flowing Hair Dollar
The world’s most expensive coin, with a market value of a record $10 million. Sold in 2013 at a Stack’s Bowers auction, it is shown in museums around the world.
The specimen was made of 90% silver and 10% copper, so its value is not just based on the bullion used. The uniqueness of The Flowing Hair Silver lies in its remarkable history, which began in 1794. According to American historians and scholarly researchers, the one-dollar coin is one of the first to be physically minted in the United States.
The 40mm coin is preserved in very good condition because it has been stored in special conditions for years. The precious relic appeared in Warsaw in 2016 at a special exhibition of the National Treasury, during which those interested could also see a $4 million copy of the US Declaration of Independence.
Featured photo: Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons