Consumers value coins for various reasons. This includes investment, aesthetic appeal, numismatic value for collectors, and gifting are the top few. Here we talk about the top most valuable US coins.
The value of a coin is directly related to how much it weighs. Additionally, its content, purity, age and most importantly, its rarity comes into play. It is possible for a rare copper coin from the 19th century to be far more valuable than its intrinsic value. However, the value of another similar coin would be a lot less if it is old, but it is commonly available. A .9999 gold coin minted this year probably has the approximately same value as its intrinsic value. It would be a lot more valuable if it is a limited release of a popular coin series, and is expected to sell out soon.
Here is a list of the 15 most valuable US coins:
1794 Silver Dollar
Owning this “Flowing Hair Silver Dollar” from 1794 would be a dream come true for any serious numismatist. This rare beauty with her flowing hair has fascinated the numismatic world. A buyer bought the coin at auction from Stack’s Bowers Galleries for an astounding $10 million in 2013. That was a new world record price for any coin. The coin’s mintage was minuscule. It was heavily in circulation and served as a face of the young United States to the world outside. This is a favorite image of the 18th century America.
1804 Ten Dollar Gold Piece
In total only ten of these coins went into production. Only three are known to exist. Similar to the 1804 Silver Dollar, these coins came about in 1834. However, they date 1804. The only auctioned coin was from the King of Siam set. $8.5 million in 2005 was what the coin went for.
1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle
445,500 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle coins went into production in 1933. Today only a handful of coins are available. Thus, this valuable US coins collection is highly rare. These coins did not release for circulation. This was due to Frank Roosevelt’s executive order suspending gold coinage and confiscating all gold coins in circulation for melting. Only 20 coins remain today as they were stolen and sold to the collectors. The secret services could recover 19 of them out. They melted 9 of them. Nowadays, only a handful of coins remain. They are highly valuable today. A private owner bought one coin for a colossal sum of US $7.59 million in 2002.
1804 Silver Dollar
This coin has the limelight for its rarity and value. It is well-known fact that a private buyer bought it for a whopping $4.14 million at an auction. There are only 15 coins available in the entire world. The exciting part is none of these coins came from 1804. All the coins came in 1830 or later. The elegantly draped bust and bowed head Liberty is a design that all numismatists will want to own. The coin’s rarity, beauty, and design are extremely popular in the numismatic world.
1870-S Three Dollar Gold Piece
This coin came about from 1854-1889. James B. Longacre made the design. The 1870’s coins are considered to be one of the most valuable US coins. It is rare in the marketplace. Only two of these 1870-S Three Dollar Gold Piece believe to be out there. Coin enthusiasts believe that only one such coin exists. It is in the cornerstone of the U.S. Mint building in San Francisco. The coin has an extraordinary cast and has a unique hand carved “S” mark. The coin stores in the American Numismatic Association Museum in Colorado Springs and its value is $4 million.
1849 Coronet Double Eagle
The Double Eagle is a one-of-the-kind coin, yet just like the other valuable US coins. The 1848 California Gold Rush inspired this. It changed the history of American Coinage forever. Until 1849 the highest coin denomination was $10. The Gold Rush led to an abundant influx of gold into the US Mint. Hence there was an idea to produce a higher coin denomination. In 1849 only two pieces of Double Eagle coins came in proof condition. One coin stores at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. The whereabouts of the other coin remain unknown. Many numismatics believe that if the coin were available its value would be $4 million. James B. Longacre made the design. It features a profile portrait of Liberty wearing a small coronet.
7. 1907 Ultra-High-Relief Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle
President Theodore Roosevelt ordered this coin into mint. We would never witness this beautiful coin without him. Augustus Saint-Gaudens made the design. The goodwill to introduce American coinage to the world, and Roosevelt’s affection for Greek and Roman high relief coins, motivated Saint-Gaudens to create this masterpiece. Although the coin was not accepted initially for its impractical design, these coins are considered to be one of the most beautiful and valuable coins in American history. The coin wasn’t accepted because the high relief made stacking coins difficult, They say that around ten of these coins is preserved in Fort Knox. Only two coins are out in the world — one store at the Smithsonian Institute. Egypt’s King Farouk had the other.
8. 1943 Bronze Lincoln Cent
In 1943 the USA tried to conserve copper as it was necessary for ammunition in World War II. The U.S. Mint began using steel blanks for the Cents in an effort to retain copper. The three Mints made over a billion “Steelies” in 1943. Philadelphia alone featured designs of over 684,000,000 examples. However, a handful of rare 1943 Cents has been discovered. These were “in error on old-style, bronze blanks.” These bronze cents became one of the rarest coins in American coinage, highly sought after by passionate collectors.
Here is another coin from the valuable US coins in American coinage history. This Liberty Head Nickel came in an extremely limited quantity. It was unauthorized by the US Mint. This makes it one of the best-known rarities among collectors. Only five of these coins are known to exist. There is not a lot of information about their minting process. However, that was the first coin to break the million dollar barrier at an auction. Jay Parrino bought the coin for $1,485,000 in 1996.
10. 1793 Chain Cent
This was the first regular issued coin produced by the US Mint. Additionally, it was also the first large cent in America. This coin came in 1793. Although this cent did not pick up much commerce wise, this coin is highly regarded by collectors as a valuable coin.
William Barber made the design of this coin. Only five proof coins struck in 1885. This fact made this 1885 Trade Dollar one of the scarce and valuable US coins. In January 2006 the legendary “King of Coins” banker, Louis E. Eliasberg Sr. bought an authentic Dollar for $1.3 Million at an auction in Dallas, Texas, USA.
Carson City mints made these Liberty Seated Dimes. Investors consider this coin one of the most valuable in existence. The mint was only around for a short period. The Carson City mint had a more limited series than other US Mint branches. The 1873 Liberty Seated Dime is one of the rarest coins in the American history. Due to the CC Mint record, there is 12,400 of these coins. This was a change for the standard of coin weights. These coins went to melt and re-coin with the standardized weight and the addition of arrows on either side of the date. However, few of these coins escaped melting for assay purpose. The mint storage regained some pieces. This coin bought for $891,250 in 2004.
Ephraim Brasher was responsible for the design of this coin in 1787. This coin is not technically part of the US coinage. It is a rare coin in the U.S. In 1979, a buyer bought a Brasher Doubloon for $725,000. It was a record for almost a decade.
The 1893 Morgan Silver Dollars are the rarest coins among all Morgan Silver Dollars. The year 1893 had several events that ultimately influenced the rarity of this coin. The silver purchase clause of the Act of July 14, 1890, revoked on November 1, 1893. There was less need for silver to convert into coinage. One of these coins bought for 414,000 dollars back in late 2001 at Stacks Auction.
When Victor David Brenner designed this popular coin and placed his initials on the reverse, he didn’t think that one day these coins will go down in history. The public liked the coin’s design. However, they did not like the prominent initials VDB on the reverse. The mint had no other option but to respond to the public by removing the initials in its next coin release. However, 484,000 of these coins came about at the San Francisco facility. The Philadelphia facility made the next releases. It made S Lincoln Cent extremely popular among collectors. Even some coins are in a bad condition, they still sold for a few hundred dollars at Auctions.
Hope you enjoyed reading our list of 15 most valuable US coins. We will provide more information about different coinage, history of coins, international coins, and other interesting facts in our blog posts. Do not forget to check out other posts and subscribe to our newsletter for more.