What Coins Are Worth a Lot?

Written by jean mccorkle-kaess
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  • Introduction

    What Coins Are Worth a Lot?

    Collectors say something is only as valuable as the amount someone else is willing to pay. Rare coins sold at auction can fetch millions of dollars for a single specimen.


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    Most Expensive

    The most expensive coin in the world is the 1933 gold Double Eagle, of which the U.S. Mint only printed 445,500. A single coin sold in July 2002 for £4.9 million.

    1933 Double Eagle (Americanhistory.si.edu) ()

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    Silver Dollar

    The 1804 Original (the original reverse designed for this line) sold at auction in August 1999 for £2.7 million. In this edition, the word "states" is nearly centred over the clouds as opposed to being shifted farther left in the second reverse.

    1804 Original (Coinfacts.com) ()

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    MCMVII Double Eagle

    The MCMVII ultra-high relief, lettered edge is a gold coin worth £13 in 1907. It sold at auction in November 2005 for £1.9 million. It looks identical to the 1933 gold Double Eagle minus the lettering on the edge.

    Double Eagle obverse (Smithsonian Institution) ()

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    Brasher Doubloon

    The next two most expensive coins were produced before establishment of the U.S. Mint by New York goldsmith and jeweller Ephraim Brasher in 1787. Valued at £9 in New York currency, the version with the author's initials on the breast of an eagle sold for £1.9 million, while the version with his initials on the bird's wing sold for £1.6 million, both in January 2005.

    1787 Brasher Doubloon, EB on wing (Tom Mulvaney, Smithsonian Institution) ()

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    1927-D Double Eagle

    The 1927-D Double Eagle sold for £1.2 million in November 2005. It looks identical to the 1933 gold Double Eagle.

    1927-D Double Eagle reverse (Tom Mulvaney, Smithsonian Institution) ()

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