Thu. Jun 1st, 2023
Rare Coin Collection
Rare Coin Collection

Rare Coin Collection

Rare Coin Collection

Finding hidden treasure in an old dresser drawer or attic is the stuff of dreams. So root out your coin jar and come up with a rarity that has serious value. Striking it rich is a distant possibility for those who have built up a large stash of precious coins, but you can still find some loose change that’s worth more than you might expect.

Many of the coins on the list below are unlikely to be hidden in your attic because they are so rare, but not all of them are very expensive either. Some of the more recent examples (20th-century coins) can be relatively cheap and are more likely to be tucked away somewhere quiet or in a safe deposit box at your parent’s bank. (And if you’re into paper money – here are the big bills you’re unlikely to see.)

Before you go out and buy these coins – if you have a spare million sitting around for some of them – you’ll want to hear from an expert coin collector, a numerologist, as they say. Called for guidance.

Educate yourself – watch out for fakes

“Coins are both a hobby and [an] investment,” says Warren Zavvi, chief numismatist and president of American Rarities, a coin dealer based in Boulder, Colorado. “You have to choose well in the choices you make.”

For those new to the field, it’s important to understand what your goal is – to have a good time with your collection as a hobby or to try to make some money as an investor.

Either way, Zvi says, you want to know what you’re doing. His motto for newcomers to the field is “Buy a book before you buy a coin.” The book he is referring to is “A Guide Book of United States Coins” known among experts as the “Red Book”. He also recommends a subscription to Coin World, which includes current information on the state of the industry.

Zvi says there is a lot of misinformation about coins on the Internet now, with fraudsters trying to take an ordinary coin and sell it on an auction site as a precious coin.

“There are so many fakes,” he says, “so it’s important to have access to expert knowledge, especially when you’re starting out, so you know what you’re buying is truly authentic.” Still, spotting fakes can be difficult, even for professionals.

“Recently I had two people send us coins that were graded by a nationally recognized grader, and they turned out to be faked,” Zvi says.

More valuable coins offer higher profit potential for scammers, of course, but such coins are also rarer. Even if you’re not paying millions of dollars for a coin, you want to know you’re getting what you pay for.

“Getting feedback on authenticity and appraisal is easier than ever,” says Xavi. “Buyers or sellers can send photos or even the entire collection.”

9 of the most valuable coins in the world

Below are some of the world’s most valuable coins, but not all are limited to museums and wealthy private collectors. Some of them may just turn into your couch cushions.

1. 1794 Flying Hair Silver Dollar

Rare Coin Collection
Rare Coin Collection

1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar may at least sit atop the ranking of the most expensive coins ever sold. Some experts believe it was the first silver dollar struck by the US Mint. The obverse features a profile of Lady Liberty with flowing hair, while the reverse features an American eagle. Fewer than 1,800 of these coins were ever minted, and one expert puts the number of remaining coins at between 120 and 130, making it quite rare.

The coin was sold at auction in 2013 for just over $10 million.

2. 1787 Brasher Doubloon

Rare Coin Collection
Rare Coin Collection

The Brasher doubloon was created in the late 18th century by Ephraim Brasher, a New York City goldsmith, and silversmith. The obverse of the coin shows the state seal with a rising sun, while the reverse shows the American eagle with a shield. The coin is already rare, but some versions have fetched different prices depending on their special features.

A 2011 sale saw a version of the doubloon with Brasher’s signature EB fetch nearly $7.4 million. Another 2018 private sale of another doubloon with the signature EB on the bird’s wing fetched more than $5 million, according to Coin World. Another Brasher doubloon lost $9.36 million in a third auction in January 2021.

3. 1787 Fugio St

Rare Coin Collection
Rare Coin Collection

The Fugio cent hasn’t set astronomical records like the first two coins on this list, but it can still be a valuable collectible, and it has an interesting history. The fugue cent, also known as the Franklin cent, may have been the first coin to circulate in the newly formed United States, after founding father Benjamin Franklin.

In keeping with Franklin’s humor, the coin shows the sun and sun with the Latin motto “Fugio”, suggesting that the sun and time are flying. At the bottom, the coin says “Mind your own business,” a plea to literally mind your own business. The reverse of the coin reads “We Are One” with 13 links in a chain to symbolize the first 13 states of America.

Zvi suggests you can buy a Fugio cent for a few hundred dollars, making it relatively accessible for a coin with such an interesting history. Coins in better condition can go for a few thousand dollars and maybe even $10,000, while extremely rare forms can sell for tens of thousands.

4. 723 Umayyad gold dinar

The 723 Umayyad gold dinar is one of the most valuable Islamic coins and was struck from gold mining at a site owned by the Caliph. The coin is marked “Kin of the Commander of the Faithful” and is the first Islamic coin to mention a location in Saudi Arabia. According to experts, there are about a dozen examples of the coin.

In 2011, the coin fetched 3.7 million pounds (about $6 million) at auction, making it the second most expensive coin ever sold at auction. In 2019, another version of the coin sold for the same amount in pounds, but the dollar value rose to around $4.8 million.

5. 1343 Edward III Florian

Another one of the most expensive coins in the world is the old goldie. The 1343 Edward III florin is one of only three such gold coins in existence. Two examples are housed in the British Museum in London, both found in the River Tyne in 1857. The third coin was found in 2006 by a prospector with a metal detector.

The obverse of the coin depicts King Edward III on his throne flanked by two leopards’ heads, while the reverse depicts the royal cross within a cottar foil. This coin is also known as Double Leopard because of its design.

The coin, found in 2006, sold at auction for £480,000, or about $850,000, a record for a British coin at the time. The coin is now estimated to be worth around $6.8 million.

6. 1943 Lincoln Head Copper Penny

This is another coin you might find tucked away in a dresser at some point, and it’s the circumstances surrounding its products that make the 1943 Lincoln Head Copper Penny so interesting and valuable.

While money was usually made of copper and nickel, America needed these metals for the war effort, so the mint began using steel to produce coins. But he still accidentally struck a batch of coins from copper, possibly because blanks were left in the press when the mint began minting new steel coins. Experts estimate that about 40 of these coins exist, although some say that fewer than 20 examples remain.

The U.S. Mint says these coins are often faked due to coating the steel bill with copper and changing the date on coins struck in 1945, 1948, and 1949. to a magnet.

While a regular steel 1943 Lincoln penny might fetch you 30 or 40 cents – again about 30 or 40 times its value – special copper versions fetched $204,000 at a 2019 auction. A man has had this coin pattern since he was a child for nearly 70 years when he found it in his school cafeteria.

According to Coinweek, a version of this coin fetched a record $1.75 million at auction in 2010.

7. 2007 $1 Million Canadian Gold Maple Leaf

The $1 million Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin is a novelty coin if ever there was one, and it tips the scales at 100 kilograms or about 220 pounds. As of December 2022, only six of the nearly pure gold coins have been minted, and each is worth $1 million. They were used as promotional showpieces for the mint’s one-ounce gold maple leaf coins.

In October 2007, the Guinness Book of World Records named the coin the world’s largest gold coin. The obverse of the coin depicts Queen Elizabeth II, while the reverse depicts a Canadian maple leaf. The coin is 50 cm (about 20 inches) wide and just over an inch thick.

The coin was sold at auction in 2010 for 3.27 million euros, or just over $4 million at the time.

8. 1913 Liberty Head V Nickel

This coin isn’t as old as some on this list, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the most valuable. In fact, it is among the rarest coins around. The U.S. Mint struck the Liberty V nickel from 1883 to 1913, but only one of the famous five coins was minted in the final year’s vintage.

Since the year 2000, the coin has been auctioned a few times and has fetched several million dollars. A version reportedly sold for $4.15 million in 2005 and then flipped for $5 million in 2007. Another example hit the market in 2010 for more than $3.7 million, while another in 2018 sold for $4.56 million.

If you can’t find enough nickels to buy one yourself, you can view one of the coins at a handful of museums, including the Smithsonian Institution.

9. Morgan Silver Dollars

Morgan silver dollars themselves are not particularly rare, but some rare vintages can fetch seriously high prices. Even if you don’t own one of the more obscure versions, the Morgan is just a beautiful item with the solid feel of a well-balanced coin that is 90 percent silver.

A “run-of-the-mint” Morgan should yield a baseline of at least $20, given the silver content and price of the precious metal. However, the following samples from Morgan may bring a little more than that, but notice the mintmark, the alphabetic mark on some coins:

  • 1893 S. Morgan
  • 1901 Morgan
  • 1889 CC Morgan
  • 1884 S. Morgan
  • 1893 A. Morgan

According to CoinTrackers, each of these can fetch more than $100,000 to $550,000, if it’s in mint condition. And there are still other versions of Morgan silver dollars that can trade hands for tens of thousands of dollars.

If you like the look of a Morgan silver dollar, it won’t hold you back much to buy one of the more common patterns and then you can own a piece of history without the high price tag.

Bonus: Check your change jar for these pre-1964 US silver coins.

Today’s “silver” coins are not actually made of silver, but they were once worth less! 90% of silver coins minted before 1964 were pure silver, and of the coins on this list, these are the most likely to be found around your house or in an old garage, shoebox, or coffee shop. They are found tied in a box.

Such coins include Morgan dollars, Mercury dimes, and even Washington quarters, Zvi says.

Although some of these coins may be free of silver content, such as some Morgans, the value of ordinary coins exceeds their bullion value. Some speculators focused on owning real silver may purchase these coins for their precious metal content rather than their collectible value.

The bottom line

Coin collecting can be a fun hobby, as you collect and sort coins. But don’t forget that making money on collectibles also creates a tax liability. So before you decide to turn your hobby into a business — even a side gig — review what taxes you’ll owe on your profits. Unfortunately, the withholding tax rate of 28 percent can be higher than the rate on stocks and other financial assets.

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Rare Coin Collection

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