Top 5 Most Expensive Coins Ever Sold

Posted by Anastasia

As with most things described as ‘precious’ or priceless’, the most expensive coins on the planet will always cost far more than their minted value. Within the exciting and volatile world of coin auctions, there is no end to the level and quantity of speculations that surface long before the final selling price becomes known. The prices for these coins reach ever higher plateaus, where amounts in the seven-figure range have long become the norm. There are coins, specifically dollar coins, that have continued to exceed any previously conceived limit regarding what any prospective owner is willing to pay for them, and running into the millions of dollars, such as the case of the first coin mentioned in this list of the Top Five Most Expensive Coins Ever Sold – the Flowing Hair Dollar. In the coin collecting world, it is nothing less than awesome.

# 1 – Flowing Hair Dollar – Purchase Price – $7.85 million

The Flowing Hair Dollar possesses the most illustrious characteristic of being the first dollar coin to be minted by the U.S. federal government. The Cardinal Education Foundation in Sunnydale was the fortunate recipient when it was purchased from Laguna Beach’s Irvine for a stunning $7.85 million, and setting the record, in May of 2005. The Flowing Hair Dollar was first minted in the year 1795, and features the iconic image of a woman with flowing tresses, and surrounded by 15 stars, and the word ‘Liberty’ above her head. The silver coin was designed and fabricated to mimic both the size and weight of the most widely used coin in colonial America at the time – the Spanish Dollar.

# 2 – Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagle – Purchase Price – $7.59 million

The Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagle certainly stands as good as any in terms of one of the most valuable of all coins, achieving its second-tier status after realizing a sale price of $7.59 million at, where else, but an auction. Weighing in at a hefty 90% gold, this amazing coin, along with 445,000 others, first came out of the mint in the year 1933. However, in that same year, the gold standard was abandoned domestically, and subsequently, none of these specimens came into circulation, and most were melted down for their gold content. Historically, these coins were first minted during the time of the California Gold Rush in the year 1849.

# 3 – Edward III Double Florin – Purchase Price – $6.8 million

The third entry into the world’s most valuable coinage is the Edward III Double Florin, hitting the benchmark of $6.8 million, and yes, at an auction handled by Spink. This coin is of medieval origin, and was, at the time of its less-than one year of circulation, 1343 to 1344, worth a mere 6 shillings. Minted to honor the reign of King Edward III, there are only three such coins known to exist in the entre world.

# 4 – 1913 Eliasberg Liberty Head Nickel – Purchase Price – $5 million

Once belonging to the prominent coin collector Louis Eliasberg, this fourth example of the world’s most priceless coinage is considered the finest of the five 1913 Liberty Head Nickels still in existence, and is graded to Proof 66. Eliasberg had acquired the coin from Newman and Johnson, and it was the hallmark of his collection until he passed away. In May 1996, Bowers and Marina auctioned the specimen to another dealer for a record-setting $1.485 million. It changed hands a few times until a sale occurred in 2007, when an unknown collector purchased the coin for $5 million.

# 5 – 1804 Silver Dollar – Purchase Price – $4.14 million

This 1804 Silver Dollar, number five on the list of the most valuable of coins, stands among only fifteen to remain in existence. Classified as a Class I, it was first issued in 1804, and is fondly referred to in the numismatic world as the definitive ‘King of Coins’. This very expensive coin found its way into the history books when it was presented to the Sultan of Muscat by U.S. President Andrew Jackson in the year 1835. The gift was an offering to boost trade relations between the U.S. and the Arab and Asian countries. In 1999, during a highly contentious auction, the coin was bought in under two minutes for $4.14 million.