A Guide to The Rarest Coins in The World
Coins have played an integral role in human history and have long fascinated collectors and enthusiasts alike. While most coins are readily available and circulated widely, there are a select few that are so rare and coveted that they captivate the attention of numismatists and collectors around the world.
In this guide, we explore some of the rarest coins ever minted, each with a story to tell and a place in history. You can also learn more about the origin of coins with our guide to the history of coin jewellery.
1849 Double Eagle
Considered the rarest and most valuable coin in U.S history, the 1849 Double Eagle has an estimated worth of nearly $20 million.
Despite being marked with the year 1849, the Double Eagle was minted in 1850 and is currently being preserved at National Numismatic Collections at the Smithsonian Institution. With only one remaining, the Double Eagle is coveted by numismatists and one of the rarest coins in the world.
Silver Flowing Hair Dollar
Minted in 1794 and 1795, the Silver Flowing Hair Dollar is believed to be the first silver dollar ever issued by the US government.
The coin depicts a portrait of Lady Liberty with long flowing hair on the obverse, while the reverse shows an image of the American eagle.
Fewer than 1,800 coins were ever minted and the value of this rare silver dollar has continued to increase over the years. In 2013, a 1794 Silver Flowing Hair Dollar sold for $10 million at auction.
1787 Brasher Doubloon
Struck in gold and minted with a rising sun on the obverse and the American eagle with a shield on the reverse, the 1787 Brasher Doubloon is valued amongst the rarest coins in the world.
Selling for $9.36 million in 2021, this coin was created by goldsmith Ephraim Brasher and is known to be one of the most desirable coins ever minted. With only 7 believed to exist, numismatists regard the 1787 Brasher Doubloon up with the finest of American treasures.
The 1343 Edward III Florin
Also known as the Double Leopard due to its design, the Gold Florin is seen as the rarest coin in British history. There are only three coins known to exist, one of which is privately owned with the other two currently exhibited in the British Museum.
The 1343 Edward Florin features an image of the Royal cross on one side and the King sitting with a leopard’s head to his left and right on the reverse and was introduced by King Edward III.
This coin had a face value of 6 shillings, however in 2006, the privately owned coin was bought at auction for £460,000. Today, this fascinating coin is valued at £6.8 million.
5. $1 Million Gold Canadian Maple Leaf
Produced by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007, the $1 million Gold Canadian Maple Leaf coin is the very first coin to have ever obtained a face value of $1,000,000.
This coin was minted to showcase the new edition of Canadian Maple Leaf gold coins and strikingly, consist of 100kg of 99.99% pure gold. Featuring an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on one side and the Canadian maple leaf on the reverse, this giant coin is one of six ever made.
The 1804 Silver Dollar
With only 15 known coins in existence, the 1804 silver dollar is extremely rare and one that’s rich in history. No dollars with the date of 1804 were actually struck in that year, despite this date being inscribed on the coin. These coins were struck in 1834-35 and were given as part of a collective gift set to rulers in Asia for their trade agreement with the US.
Today, an original 1804 silver dollar can cost anywhere between $2 million and $4 million.
7. 1913 Liberty Head Nickel
The 1913 Liberty Head Nickel is a legendary coin with only five known examples in existence. It’s deeply considered one of the most enigmatic numismatic mysteries as the coins were struck illegally and without authorisation. Whilst not as old as some of the rarest coins in the world, it’s fetched millions of dollars at auctions due to its fascinating history, making it a true gem for collectors.
1894-S Barber Dime
Only 24 coins were ever minted and of those 24, only 9 are known to exist, making the 1894-S Barber Dime extremely intriguing. They are one of the most sought-after coins in the United States and are shrouded in mystery due to their history.
These coins were made of a silver and copper composition, with Lady Liberty depicted on one side and a wreath circling the words, ‘One Dime,’ on the other.
Valued today between $1 million and $2 million, these coins are within the top 10 rarest coins in the world.
1787 Brasher Doubloon EB Punch on Wing
An extension of the 1787 Brasher Doubloon, the EB Punch on Wing variation is even rarer than the standard issue. This unique coin is the only known example of its kind with only six coins ever featuring the “EB” stamp on the American eagle’s wing
1787 Fugio Centennial
The first official circulation coin of the United States, the 1787 Fugio Centennial earns its place amongst the rarest coins in the world due to its importance within American History.
This coin features the sun on the obverse and the phrase “Mind Your Business” on the reverse.
Known as a Franklin cent, this coin was designed by Benjamin Franklin and minted for circulation for one year, with only 398,577 produced within that time. Whilst not the most valuable coin, these coins are considered to be extremely rare and are treasured by collectors around the world.
The world of rare coins is captivating for many but especially for those with a love for history and a passion for numismatics. Whether sought after for their beauty, historical context, or simply as an investment piece, these rare coins continue to fascinate collectors and enthusiasts alike.