Whether they’re government-issued or custom-made, coins are one of the fascinating types of currency out there, from custom coins made to market a product, or ancient coins that were once used during the medieval times.
It’s the latter that draws the attention of both numismatics (e.g., coin collectors) and historians. Still, these historical treasures aren’t just interesting because of their journey through time: they’re also worth millions. Here are some of the most expensive coins in the world:
Edward III’s Florin Coin from 1343
Value: $6.8 Million
At almost 680 years old, this coin’s value comes from its sheer historical importance, having been minted in the height of Edward III’s reign. Aside from that, there’s another reason why this coin sold for almost $7million at auction: there are only three known specimens of this specific coin in existence, which also makes this coin one of the rarest in the world.
The Brasher Doubloon from 1787
Value: $7.4 Million
Minted by renowned goldsmith Ephraim Brasher in 1787, the Brasher Doubloon was privately minted after Brasher’s petition to mint copper coins was denied by the State of New York. The goldsmith proceeded anyway, creating a few coins of his design using 22-carat gold, which of course, makes this coin extremely valuable. So valuable that a Wall Street investment firm spent $7.4million fora single Doubloon.
The Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle from 1907
Value: $7.6 Million
Only slightly more valuable than the Brasher Doubloon, the Saint-Gauden’s Double Eagle was another proposed coin that the United States government rejected. Designed by renowned coin smith Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the Double Eagle coin’s original design was too complex for U.S. mints at the time. Then-chief Engraver Charles Barber took liberties with the design and removed certain aspects of the coin. Unfortunately, Congress rejected the modified coin design, with only a handful of Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle coin being minted into existence.
The 1933 Double Eagle
Value: $7.6 Million
Worth almost the same as the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, the 1933 Double Eagle’s value comes from the fact that only 20 of these coins are in existence. Or, at least, only 20 coins survived. You see, this gold coin was minted in 1933, at the height of the Great Depression. To help mitigate the economic depression and alleviate the banking crisis, then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt banned anyone from owning gold.
While the coins were never released into circulation, 22 of the coins survived: the U.S. mint ordered all the coins to be melted down, saving only 2 for the U.S. National Numismatic Collection; however, 20 other coins were stolen before they were destroyed, with only one of the recovered coins being owned privately.
The Flowing Hair Silver/ Copper Dollar from 1794/5
Value: $10 million
Probably the most valuable coin in the world right now, the Flowing Hair Silver Dollar, or Flowing Hair Copper Dollar, was the first-ever dollar coin ever minted by the United States government. It was created in 1794 and 1795. It marks the first time that the United States government released a currency at the Federal level; before this, individual States minted their coins.
In January of 2013, a specimen of the Flowing Hair Silver Dollar coin sold at auction for a whopping $10million, making it the most expensive currency ever to be sold.