South Cape Coins is South Africa's premier rare coin dealer

The World’s Most Expensive Coins

This is the second blog post in our ‘World’s Most…’ series. In our first we looked at ‘The World’s Most Unusual Coin Shapes and Designs’.

For thousands of years, rare coins and gold coins have captured the attention of royalty, nobility, numismatic experts and every-day coin collectors. During the Middle Ages particularly, coin collecting was reserved for those who could afford to buy rare, ancient or gold coins. Thankfully today this is no longer the case, and it’s become much more affordable for people to join in and profit from this hobby.

However, having said that there are many rare, valuable coins that the majority of us will likely never be able to add to our collection, simply because of their staggering price tag. Just to give you an idea of what’s out there (in case you win the national lottery or come into a significant inheritance); let’s take a look at the world’s top 5 most expensive coins.

1. The Silver ‘Flowing Hair Dollar’ – Price tag: $7.85 million

This was the first dollar coin issued in 1794 by the US federal government. Nicknamed the ‘Flowing Hair Dollar’, it’s considered to be one of the rarest and most valuable of all US coins. The coin’s size and weight were modelled on the Spanish dollar, which was a very popular trade coin throughout the Americas. It is estimated that the surviving number of these coins is around 120 – 130, although this specimen graded MS66 by the PCGS is the finest known example.

The coin was last sold by Steven Contursi, President of Rare Coin Wholesalers, to the Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation of California.

2. The Gold 1933 Double Eagle – Price Tag: $7.59 million

Minted in 1933 this Saint-Gaudens specimen is incredibly rare, despite the fact that an estimated 445,500 of them were minted that year – the last year of production for this coin. It’s made its way into the top 5 most expensive coins because none of them were ever officially circulated.Due to the discontinuance of the domestic gold standard in 1933, they were minted and then subsequently all melted down before they could be circulated. That is, except for the few cleverly stashed at the time. If it wasn’t for this fact, there’d probably be more of these beautiful coins on the market.

3. Gold Edward III Double Florin – Price Tag: $6.80 million

A rare, Medieval gold coin that was in circulation for just 7 months – from December 1343 to July 1344. At the time, this strikingly beautiful and intricate coin had a face value of 5 Shillings. Today, it is thought that only three of these coins remain in existence.

4. 1804 silver dollar – Price Tag: $4.140 million

This coin was actually minted in 1834 and makes the list because of its unique and complex history. The US Mint records indicate that in 1804 19,750 silver dollars were struck. As was common practice at the time, they were minted using old (but still usable) dies from 1803. Silver dollars dated 1804 didn’t actually appear until 1834, when sets of coins were created and given as gifts for foreign dignitaries. Because the silver dollar was still in use, though hadn’t been produced since 1804, the mint struck several of the coins with this date.

15 specimens of this silver dollarare known, and are divided into three ‘classes’. Class 1 comprises eight coins, which were minted in 1834. Class II comprises of one coin and Class III comprises of six coins – which were minted between 1858 and 1860.

This specific coin belongs to the first class and was put on display as part of the King of Siam’s collection, where it was given the name ‘The King of Coins’.

This coin was actually minted in 1834 and makes the list because of its unique and complex history. The US Mint records indicate that in 1804 19,750 silver dollars were struck. As was common practice at the time, they were minted using old (but still usable) dies from 1803. Silver dollars dated 1804 didn’t actually appear until 1834, when sets of coins were created and given as gifts for foreign dignitaries. Because the silver dollar was still in use, though hadn’t been produced since 1804, the mint struck several of the coins with this date.

15 specimens of this silver dollarare known, and are divided into three ‘classes’. Class 1 comprises eight coins, which were minted in 1834. Class II comprises of one coin and Class III comprises of six coins – which were minted between 1858 and 1860.

5. 1899‘Single 9’ – Price Tag: Estimated to be around $4 million

ned the German Mint to create 1899 coinage dies. Unfortunately, these dies never made it to South Africa so the government decided to use dies from 1898. They simply altered it by punching a ‘9’ on the obverse side of the 1898 coins.

However, once the first coin was stamped it was immediately noticed that the ‘9’ was too large andintruded on the bust of President Kruger.  Only one coin was made with this punch and subsequent coins were struck with a smaller ‘9’ – these coins became known as the Double 99 Overstamp and are themselves very rare and valuable.

So there you have it, the top 5 most expensive coins in the world. At least dreaming is free though, is it not?

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The 1898 Single “9” is the most important African coin. Sold by South Cape Coins.

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