These top five coins are the most expensive coins out there.
Currency is a funny thing — sometimes, thanks to government mishaps or indecision or even rogue goldsmiths, currency turns out to be worth much more than its original value.
Here we present to you the five most valuable coins (as determined by public auctions) in the world.
1. The Flowing Hair dollar
The Flowing Hair dollar was the first coin to be issued by the U.S. Federal government. At the time, the Spanish dollar was a popular piece used for trade in the Americas, and so the U.S. based the Flowing Hair dollar’s size and weight on the Spanish dollar. In 1795, five years after the Flowing Hair dollar had been started in production, the “Draped Bust” dollar replaced it.
Where’s the money?: In 2013 a 1794 coin sold for 10 million dollars.
2. 1933 Double Eagle
The 1933 double eagle is a 20-dollar coin, with the second-highest price paid at auction for one U.S. Coin. A 1933 act in the U.S. called for people to trade in their gold coins for other currency, as gold coins were declared to no longer be legal tender. Most of these 1933 Double Eagle coins were melted down in the same year.
Where’s the money?: A 1933 Double Eagle sold in 2002 for 7.5 million.
3. The 1787 Brasher Doubloon EG on Breast
In 1787, a goldsmith and silversmith named Ephraim Brasher petitioned New York State to mint copper coins. New York did not want to get into minting copper coinage, but Brasher himself had the skills to strike his own copper coins. He made his own copper and gold coins over the next few years.
Where’s the money?: A 1787 Brasher Doubloon sold for 7.4 million.
4. Edward III Gold Florin
In the 1340s, the English Parliament petitioned Edward III for the creation of gold coins for international trade. The new coins were florins of fine gold, worth six shillings, with designs of French influence.
The coin’s face value was higher than the value of its gold weight, and the six shillings value was not a good fit for England’s currency system. Soon the gold florin was replaced by the noble, worth a third of a pound and half of a mark – a much more useful ratio. Only three coins of this type have been known to survive the centuries, making them extremely valuable.
Where’s the money?: A 1343 Gold Florin sold for 6.8 million.
5. 1804 Class I Silver Dollar
The 1804 Silver Dollar (also known as the Bowed Liberty Dollar) had limited production in the 1830s and 1860s, long after its face date. It was not uncommon at the time to mint coins from older dates. Only fifteen genuine 1804 Silver Dollars exist.
There are many replicas and counterfeits of this coin, some made to trick collectors, some made as cheap substitutes.
According to legend, King Rama IV of Siam gave a 1804 silver dollar (produced in 1834) to Anna Leonowens as seen in the film The King and I. Anna’s family kept the coin for several generations until a pair of British ladies claiming to be her descendants sold the coin, where it found its way to the “King of Siam” collection at the Smithsonian Institution.
Where’s the money?: An 1804 Silver Dollar sold in 1999 for 4.14 million.