Wednesday, May 20, 2015

World's most expensive coins

The most valuable coins are not the oldest ones, but ones that have a certain rarity and desirability among collectors.

The oldest coins go back to the Iron Age, but the most valuable come from the United States and were minted in the last two or three hundred years.
1343 Edward III florin - The Edward III double florin, known as a double leopard and with a face value of six shillings, was circulated from December 1343 until July 1344. It is only the third known surviving coin, with two others found in the River Tyne in 1857.

The coin sold for nearly $6.6 million at auction in 2010.
1907 Saint-Gaudens double eagle was a complicated design produced by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and proved too difficult for the U.S. Mint to make in commercial quantities, which led to the modification of the design.

Rather than remove anything of Saint-Gaudens’ design, Charles Barber, the Mint’s chief engraver, chose to strike the words “In God We Trust” from the coin. Congress exploded, and though the coin went through production, it’s now incredibly rare. 1907 Saint-Gaudens double eagle sold in 2002, for $6.6 million
The 1787 Brasher Doubloon. Ephraim Brasher was a talented goldsmith who petitioned New York State to mint a new set of coins in copper in 1787. But the state legislature didn’t want Brasher’s work, and didn’t want copper coins.

Brasher ignored the state’s decision and went ahead minting coins anyway, mostly in bronze—but a precious few in 22-carat gold. One of these was a doubloon bought by a Wall Street investment firm for $7.4 million in 2011.
The 1933 Double Eagle was pressed but never publicly released. Franklin D. Roosevelt barred anyone from owning gold in 1933 in an attempt to end the banking crisis wracking the U.S. at the time. At least twenty slipped through. The coins circulated among collectors for several years before the Secret Service became aware of their existence.

During the first year of the investigation seven coins were seized or voluntarily turned in to the Secret Service and were subsequently destroyed at the mint; an eighth coin was recovered the following year and met the same fate. A tenth coin was recovered and destroyed in 1952. After a legal challenge a coin was sold at auction for $7,590,020.00
The 1794/5 Flowing hair silver/copper dollar was the first dollar coin issued by the U.S. Federal Government. In 1794 and 1795 this 10 percent copper, 90 percent silver dollar was minted by the newly-founded U.S. Federal Mint, and its famous bust of Liberty with flowing tresses. In January 2013, a 1794 dollar was sold for $10 million.

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