First ten the most expensive coins
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Flowing Hair Dollar
Most expensive Coins - Rank 01
Contursi specimen 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar has been sold for $7,850,000, setting a new record as the worlds most valuable rare coin.
Graded PCGS Specimen-66, it is the finest known 1794 dollar and believed by several prominent experts to be the first silver dollar ever struck by the United States Mint.
It was sold by Steven L. Contursi, President of Rare Coin Wholesalers of Irvine, California, to the nonprofit Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation (CCEF) in Sunnyvale, California. Collector and numismatic researcher Martin Logies represented the foundation of which he is a director and its numismatic curator. The private sale was brokered by Greg Roberts, President and Chief Executive Officer of Spectrum Group International of Irvine, California.
Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle
Most expensive Coins - Rank 02
The 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle is the rarest coin in United States History. This original $20 coin was sold at an auction for over $7 million dollars. Today less then 12 of these coins are known to exist. During the Great Depression all gold coins were recalled for melting including the Double Eagles. Only twelve of the coins did not make it back to the mint and were thought to be smuggled out by the employees working there. Today, most of the dozen coins have not been recovered or found and are still out there lost and forgotten.
Some of the Double Eagles Escaped the Melt Down: Two of the 1933 specimens were given by the Mint to the U.S. National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institute. These were the only two legal specimens to ever become part of a coin collection; however, by 1952, the Secret Service had confiscated 8 more 1933 Double Eagles! How did they leave the Mint Why weren't they melted down
We may never know for certain how these coins left the Mint, but there is a general consensus among scholars that a Mint cashier by the name of George McCann exchanged about 20 1933's doomed for destruction and replaced them with earlier dated Double Eagles. This way, the accounting books would balance and nobody would realize that anything was amiss. What we do know for sure is that a Philadelphia area jeweler by the name of Israel Switt came into possession of at least 19 of the coins.
Israel Switt sold at least 9 of the 1933 Double Eagles privately to collectors, one of which found its way into the collection of King Farouk of Egypt. When the Secret Service discovered that these coins had surfaced, they confiscated them all because they were considered to be stolen property of the U.S. Mint. However, King Farouk had legally exported his coin before the theft was discovered, and the Secret Service was unable to recover his specimen through diplomatic channels.
Class I Silver Dollar
Most expensive Coins - Rank 03
This 1804 silver dollar is another one of the rarest and most expensive coins in the United States History. On August 30th, 1999 this coin sold for $4.14 million dollars at an auction. There are only eight 1804 silver dollars left in the entire world and are all worth well over one million dollars. The few people that own these one of a kind coins, are dedicated collectors who are proud to own a piece of U.S. history.
Class I Specimens
In 1804, United States Mint records indicate that 19,750 silver dollars were struck. However, in keeping with common Mint practice at the time, these were all minted from old but still-usable dies dated 1803, and are indistinguishable from the coins produced the previous year. Silver dollars dated 1804 did not appear until 1834, when the U.S. Department of State was creating sets of coins to present as gifts to certain rulers in Asia in exchange for trade advantages. The U.S. Government ordered the Mint to produce "two specimens of each kind now in use, whether of gold, silver or copper". Since the silver dollar was still in use, but had last been recorded as produced in 1804, Mint employees struck several dollars with an 1804 date. Due to the cost-cutting measures of the US Mint in its early history and the reuse of 1803 dies, this act led to confusion.
The first 1804 silver dollars minted in 1834 were presented as gifts to Rama III, King of Siam and Said bin Sultan, Sultan of Muscat and Oman. The other five were dispersed under unknown circumstances after Ambassador Edmund Roberts died en route during the voyage. One was retained in the US Mint Coin Collection. In 1842, numismatists first learned of the 1804 dollar through a book displaying an illustration of the 1804 dollar from the Mint Cabinet. These silver dollars are known among numismatists as ?original? or Class I 1804 dollars. Eight of these coins are known to exist. One currently resides in the Smithsonian Institution, one is in the American Numismatic Association museum, and the other six are in private collections.
Popular legend states that the rare coin given by King Rama IV of Siam to Anna Leonowens, as seen in the story of Anna and the King of Siam and the movie The King and I, was indeed the same 1804 silver dollar produced in 1834 as a gift to Siam. This coin was kept in Anna is family for several generations, until in the 1950sit was sold by a pair of British ladies claiming to be Anna is descendants. This coin was displayed as part of the King of Siam collection at the Smithsonian Institution in 1983, where it was given the name the King of Coins. It was purchased by an anonymous collector in 2001, who purchased the entire set of coins from the King of Siam collection for over $4 million.
Class I Silver Dollar from Queller is Collection - King of American Coins
Most expensive Coins - Rank 04
The King of American Coins
The Mickley-Hawn-Queller 1804 Silver Dollar Class I Original, PR62 NGC
It is currently not the most expensive American coin-merely the most famous
The 1804 silver dollar has long been renowned as the King of American Coins. Well before such latter-day rarities as the 1913 Liberty nickels, the 1894-S Barber dimes, or the 1907 Ultra High Relief double eagles, the 1804 silver dollars were acknowledged as the most famous U.S. coins, yardsticks by which great American numismatic collections were measured.
Acquisition of an 1804 silver dollar-especially an Original or Class I example-bestows immediate numismatic immortality upon its possessor. The Class I Originals were legitimately struck in proof format at the U.S. Mint, apparently intended for presentation to foreign dignitaries. Some, however, soon found their way into commercial and collector channels. Their long and illustrious pedigrees have names tying them to foreign royalty, exotic destinations, captains of industry, and the luminaries of U.S. numismatics: the King of Siam, the Sultan of Muscat, Joseph J. Mickley, Matthew Stickney, Louis Eliasberg, John Work Garrett, Col. E.H.R. Green, Lorin G. Parmelee.
Liberty Head Nickel
Most expensive Coins - Rank 05
This 1913 Century Liberty Head Nickel also has a gigantic price tag. In a recent auction someone bought this coin for over 3 million dollars. These nickels are so rare because only 5 of the 1913 edition were made and introduced to public. Today all five of the nickels are in the hands of hardcore collectors and are a very interesting piece of history. Good luck getting your hands on one of these valuable babies.
NGC Proof-64. Previously graded PCGS Proof-64. The Olsen Specimen. This is probably the most publicized of all 1913 Liberty Head Nickels. It is the only example ever handled by B. Max Mehl, for whom the 1913 nickel was central to his lifelong advertising campaign. The Olsen Specimen has been widely featured in print and on television
The Walton Specimen. George O. Walton died as a result of a car accident on March 9, 1962. His 1913 Liberty was declared a fake. Walton's heirs kept the coin, still in its custom-made holder, for many years, bringing it out again in 2003 in response to a reward offered by Bowers and Merena Galleries. The coin was examined by numismatic experts, pronounced genuine, and presented with much fanfare at the August 2003 American Numismatic Association convention where it was reunited with the four other specimens
The Norweb Specimen. The Norweb 1913 Liberty Head Nickel is now a showpiece in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. Earlier, it belonged to the colorful King Farouk of Egypt.
NGC Proof-55. The McDermott Specimen.
The Indian Head (Buffalo) nickel was introduced in February of 1913, replacing the Liberty Head design. These were the first official strikes of nickels in 1913; the Mint's official records do not record any Liberty Head nickels produced that year. Liberty Head nickels dated 1913 first came to the attention of the numismatic community in 1920. All five were in the possession of Samuel Brown, a numismatist who attended the American Numismatic Association's annual convention and displayed the coins there.
In January 1924, Samuel Brown sold all five 1913 Liberty Head nickels. The intact lot passed through the hands of several other coin dealers before finally being purchased by Colonel E.H.R. Green (son of the infamous miser Hetty Green). Green kept them in his collection until his death in 1936. His estate was then auctioned off, and all five of the 1913 Liberty Head nickels were purchased by two dealers, Eric P. Newman and B.G. Johnson. The dealers broke up the set for the first time.
The Eliasberg specimen is the finest known 1913 Liberty Head nickel. Of the five 1913 Liberty Head nickels, two have proof surfaces, and the other three were produced with standard striking techniques. The finest of the coins has been graded Proof-66 by various professional grading services, including PCGS and NGC.
Brasher Doubloon EB on Breast
Most expensive Coins - Rank 06
Unique 1787 Brasher Doubloon, EB on Breast, Garrett Specimen
America's First Gold Coin Struck
Pronounced by Numismatic experts as America is most famous and significant coin, this unique doubloon is also widely accepted as the very first gold coin struck by the United States of America. One of only seven examples known, this specimen is unique in that the EB counterstamp (initials of silversmith Ephraim Brasher, who made the coin) is on the shield over the eagles breast. The other six examples carry the EB stamp on the eagles wing.
A coin of unparalleled historic importance, this precious rarity has been a classic since the earliest days of coin collecting in the United States.
Ultra High Relief $20 (Double Eagle)
Most expensive Coins - Rank 07
The Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle gold coin features a full length image of Miss Liberty walking forward, as if she is ready to step out of the coin. She holds aloft in her right hand a torch of enlightenment and her left hand presents an olive branch symbolic of peace. To the lower left, nearly concealed by her flowing gown, the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building is visible. The reverse is dominated by a majestic eagle in flight, bathed in sunlight. The inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and TWENTY DOLLARS are arranged in two concentric arcs located above the eagle.
The first trial samples of the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle were struck in early 1907 and were characterized by their extremely high relief. These patterns were quite stunning in beauty and detail, but required nine hits on the coining press to achieve the desired effect. Of the two dozen or so double eagles struck during the experimentation phase, all but one of them displayed on the edge the Latin motto E PLURIBUS UNUM (translation: Out of Many, One). Every coin of this trial set carried the date in Roman numerals, MCMVII, to remind observers of the artists classical inspiration, and have sold at auction for as high as $3 million.
Among American coin collectors, the Saint-Gaudens ultra (or extremely) high relief double eagle coin may be the most recognized coin ever produced. There are other great rarities of outstanding reputation, but no other combines the beauty, rarity and the story of collaboration between President Theodore Roosevelt and Augustus Saint-Gaudens as this coin does, commented Rohan.
Brasher Doubloon EB on Wing
Most expensive Coins - Rank 08
Struck in 1787, the gold doubloons by Ephraim Brasher are among the rarest and most desirable of all United States coins.
Brasher was also responsible for a unique Half Doubloon, he was involved with the New York Excelsior Coppers, the Nova Eboracs, and his hallmark appears on a number of foreign gold coins that circulated during his tenure in business.
The following six coins all have the EB hallmark punched over the eagle's wing:
1. National Numismatic Collection specimen (pictured above)
2. Yale University specimen
3. Walter Perschke specimen
4. The Garrett Specimen
5. American Numismatic Society specimen
New York gold doubloon pattern (1787) by Ephraim Brasher with EB countermark. The obverse (heads) depicts the sun rising over three mountains beyond an ocean and bears the legend NOVA EBORACA COLUMBIA EXCELSIOR. Nova Eboraca Columbia is Latin for New York in America" and excelsior means ever upward." The reverse depicts a heraldic eagle and bears the legend "UNUM E PLURIBUS.
Reverse Legend: * UNUM * E * PLURIBUS */ 1787 Reverse Type: Within circular wreath, heraldic eagle displayed facing, head l., with shield of union on breast, holding olive spray in r. talon and arrows in l.; to l. and r. of eagle's head, 13 stars displayed 7 on l. and 6 on r.
Obverse Legend: * NOVA * EBORACA * COLUMBIA */ EXCELSIOR; below waterlines, BRASHER Obverse Type: Within beaded inner circle, radiant sun rising atop mountain, with sea in foreground.
6. The Dupont specimen
1787 Half Doubloon Brasher (Regular Strike)
1787 $15 Brasher, Wing Punch (Regular Strike)
Class III Silver Dollar
Most expensive Coins - Rank 09
Heritage Auction Galleries Central States Numismatic Society Convention Platinum Night Auction on Thursday, April 30, 2009 sold the Adams-Carter specimen of the Class III AU 58 PCGS 1804 silver dollar for $2.3 million dollars (including buyers premium).
The Class III specimens were produced sometime between 1858 and 1860, also made by Theodore Eckfeldt. Although similar to the Class I coins, there are differences. There are seven known Class III specimens, which can be distinguished from Class I pieces by their reverse design, lettered edge found on Class I, and weak design. The die from which the Class III specimens were made was seized by Mint Director James Ross Snowden in 1860, but by this time several were in collectors hands.
Rolled Edge Eagl
Most expensive Coins - Rank 10
An NGC-certified 1907 Rolled Edge Eagle sold for $2.185 million during Heritage Auction is Platinum Night offerings at the FUN 2011 Convention in Tampa, Fla. The 1907 $10 Satin PR 67 with Periods Rolled Edge was one of five gold coins in the sale that belonged to Mint Director Frank A. Leach.
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Medals of America
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Nelson's Star of the Order of the Bath
Coins U.S. - from the colonial period to the present day.
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