Coin collecting may not be the most popular form of investing, but it certainly has been a mainstay of niche investors for many years. Anything from a misprinted penny to an experimental coin that was never circulated can be highly sought after by some of the most savvy collectors around the world.
The term “numismatic” refers to one who either studies or collects physical currency, and is often used to refer to coins themselves. Some of these collectibles are so rare that they are considered priceless, but there are others that come with a hefty price tag. Below, we outline the top 10 most valuable numismatic coins of all time (or at least the ones that can be valued).
- Australian Kangaroo: A coin created in 2012 that weighs exactly one metric tonne and is the largest and most valuable gold coin in the world. It is made up of 99.999% pure gold and is 80 cm in diameter and 12 cm deep. At a gold price of $1,200/oz. this coin would be worth over $42 million. Now the real question is whether or not it will ever be sold [see also Three Reasons Why Gold Is Overvalued].
- Flowing Hair Dollar: An old U.S. dollar coin that features Lady Liberty with flowing hair, this coin was minted in the late 18th century. One of these rarities sold in 2003 for $7.85 million, making it the most valuable coin ever sold to date.
- 1933 Double Eagle: This coin was printed in the early 1930s at a very fast rate as it was assumed that it would be used widely throughout the depression-ridden economy. But the coin never saw the light of day since gold confiscation occurred that very same year, forcing the government to melt down the majority of the collectible. One of these darlings is worth approximately $7.59 million.
- Brasher Doubloon: This coin was minted in 1787, and was the first ever created for the United States as an official country. Some even call this coin the beginning of the American economy as we know it. It was purchased in 2011 by an undisclosed party for $7.4 million.
- Edward III: Surprisingly, this coin does not top the list despite its age and rarity. The coin was in circulation in the mid 14th century and there are only three such coins that exist today. The Edward III takes third place with an auction value around $6.8 million.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Until this year, this gold coin held the crown for the largest in the world, measuring in at 53 cm in diameter and 3 cm thick. The coin weighs 100 kg and at a gold price of $1,200, is worth roughly $4.2 million.
- 1804 Silver Dollar: Moving back to a slightly more contemporary piece, this actually refers to a set of 15 silver dollar coins minted between 1834 and 1860. The coin was sold for $4.14 million in 2001.
- 1913 Liberty Head Nickel: There are just five of these coins that are currently known, with the most recent one selling for $3.7 million in 2010. But, it is said that if one were found in pristine condition, it would be worth upwards of $20 million.
- Queller’s Collection 1804 Class I Silver Dollar: From the same set of coins mentioned earlier, this particular numismatic wonder fetched about $3.7 million in a recent sale.
- Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle: Rounding out our list is this little number, which was produced between 1907 and 1933. It was originally worth $20, but after the 1933 gold confiscation and the rise of the precious metal, this particular coin has sold for a price just shy of $3 million.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.