Coins have been a firm favourite for generations of investors and collectors. Whether it’s boasting a portfolio for personal or business gains doesn’t matter. Gold coins are commonly accepted as the most sought after solution.
Rare gold coins aren’t just a piece of money, they offer an insight into history. Besides, owning a unique product that has somehow survived can fill collectors and sellers with immense joy. Here are some of the rarest currently in existence.
Edward Florin III
The ‘double Leopard’ is a truly magical coin for many reasons. Firstly, it dates back to 1344 and was introduced to England by King Edward III. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the gold coin was discontinued after just a few months.
There are only three copies of this coin currently known to exist, and two of those are in British museums. The other was sold for £680,000 in 2006 to surpass the previous British record of £516,000 for a 1937 Edward VIII gold proof sovereign.
The gold coin itself carries a fascinating design. It depicts the then-king with two leopards’ heads, which is where the alias name derives. Britain bleeds tradition, and this is believed to be the rarest coin in existence. Quite frankly, the Edward Florin III is one of the most significant coins in history.
The Double Eagle 1907 Edition
Augustus Saint-Gaudens was a renowned sculptor and his double eagle designed coins continued for over a quarter of a century. However, the original 1907 coin carried a production line of around 25 pieces. This makes the $20 coin a true collectors item.
President Theodore Roosevelt was eager to add an element of beauty to American coins at this time. The Saint-Gaudens design certainly hit the mark. Made of 90% gold and 10% copper, they weigh 33.4grams. The 1907 design also boasts a perimeter circle of 46 circles.
There are a number of Saint-Gaudens double eagle designs from over the years, but the original is certainly one of the rarest. Unfortunately, if you were to come across one, you’d need to pay millions to make it yours.
The Double Eagle 1933 Edition
The Saint-Gaudens coins are truly a magical item for numismatists and coin collectors alike. Each example of the double eagle is a sought after piece. But, alongside the first instalment, the last edition stands out from the crowd.
Despite originally boasting a production line of nearly 450,000 units, the discontinuation prevented circulation. Instead, the vast majority of those were melted down. In fact, only two were ordered to be saved, and they both now sit in the U.S National Numismatic Collection. However, it’s believed that around 20 were stolen before being melted down.
One of those sold at auction for a massive $7.5m in 2002; 10 others are at Fort Knox. They’re certainly amongst the rarest U.S coins in existence.
The Million Dollar Coin
There’s nothing rarer than a production line of one. In 2007, Canada produced a one-off 53 cm coin depicting British monarch Queen Elizabeth II. If the size astounds you, the weight will blow your mind; it weighs an incredible 100kg.
Phenomenally, the materials used make it more valuable than the original face value of $1m. The refined gold content is actually valued at over double that price. It’s not the biggest coin ever, though, as Australia’s 2,204lb Golden Kangaroo coin takes that title by a distance.
Fans of unique items may be a little disappointed to learn that a handful of additional items were produced to order. Nevertheless, with less than a dozen ever made, the Million Dollar coin is certainly one of the rarest in history. Regarding materials, it’s probably the most valuable too.
The 1822 Half-Eagle
Originally, the Half-Eagle coin was relatively common with just under 18,000 pieces being minted. Fast forward nearly 200 years and only three units are known to exist. This makes the $5 coin one a very rare item indeed.
It’s a truly beautiful design too, and one of the remaining pieces is insured for over $8m. The other two are kept safe at Smithsonian Institution.
Liberty Head Nickel
Old nickels from the 20th century certainly look great in a collector’s folder, but they don’t stand out as overly valuable or rare items. However, the Liberty Head version circa 1913 is different. Not only is it over a century old, but it was also minted without authorisation.
Only a small number were ever produced, which is why it took the best part of a decade for the authorities to cotton on. One of those coins became the first in U.S history to be sold for $100,000 while another was the first to be sold for over $1m. Quite frankly, it’s one of the most significant coins in existence.
As for the design, 13 stars on the reverse surround the Liberty Head, signifying the initial 13 states of the Union. This is commonplace on various coins, but none of the others boast a story to match this very special type of nickel.
The Silver Dollar Coin
Strangely, despite being dated 1804, the Silver Dollar was actually produced in the 1830s. What makes them even rarer is the fact that only 15 were ever produced.
The coins were used as diplomatic gifts by American ambassador Edmund Roberts. The 90% silver coins are broken into three classes due to disparities between edges.
Another batch were due to be produced later on in the decade, but that was scrapped after Roberts died in June 1836. Instead, the production line stopped at 15, making them one of the rarest coins are known to man.
The 1849 Double Eagle
The 1849 Double Eagle was introduced to American audiences just as the California gold rush was starting. They were produced to denominations of $20. Nowadays, though, there is only one in existence. And that $20 value is now over $20m.
It’s believed that perhaps as few as three were only produced to start with. So it comes as no surprise that the last remaining unit is considered the most desirable on American soil. This piece went to Mint Cabinet back in 1849. It now sits proudly at the Smithsonian Institute with various other high-profile coins.
For many coin collectors, the chance to simply catch a glimpse of the gold coin would be a huge moment.
The Half-Union 1877 Edition
Many of the rarest coins are those that weren’t produced for circulation. In 1877, the Half-Union pattern coin saw two items struck. With only two units ever produced, they have to be amongst the rarest ever.
Had they been produced for circulation, the $50 coins would have been the biggest denomination of coin at the time. There are various presentation examples in existence, but they are made from other metals like copper. As for the two original pieces, the U.S National Numismatic Collection is home.
The Flowing Hair Dollar
The original U.S dollar dates back to the late 18th century. After being minted in 1794 and 1795, the Flowing Hair dollar is now believed to be down to an existence of just over 100 specimens.
Its status of being the first American dollar has made it a collectors item for over 150 years. In 2013, one of them sold for over $10m. This makes the Robert Scot designed beauty the most expensive single coin known to man.
This design was replaced by the Draped Bust after just one year. The 26.96g coin is a treasured piece of history. Given is significance to American life, that’s never going to change. Truly fascinating.