Many people around the world collect rare coins, but some sell at auction for huge sums of money, probably more than you would expect for a single coin. In reverse order, the top ten most expensive coins in the world are:
10. The Single 9 Pond ($4,000,000)
Issued by South Africa in 1898, and sold in a private transaction for $4 million in 2010. It is South Africa’s rarest gold coin, sometimes referred to as “the King of South African coins”.
9. Bust Dollar Class I ($4,140,000)
Also known as the 1804 Dollar or the Bowed Liberty Dollar, these are all dated 1804, but were not minted until the 1830s and originally used as diplomatic gifts. At the time of its sale in 1999, this was the highest price ever paid for a single coin.
8. Brasher Doubloon, EB on Wing ($4,582,500)
The Brasher Doubloons were minted privately in 1787 by Ephraim Brasher in New York, and there are three varieties of the design, each with the initials EB stamped in a different place on the eagle.
7. Flowing Hair Dollar ($4.993,750)
The Flowing Hair dollar, named for the image of Liberty it portrayed, was the first dollar coin issued by the United States federal government, in 1794 and 1795. It is one of the most valuable US coins.
6. Liberty Head Nickel ($5,000,000)
Sold in 2007, the Liberty Head nickel was an unauthorised coin produced in 1913 by the United States Mint. Only five copies of it are known to exist; two are in museums, while the other three are held by private collectors.
5. $10 Proof Eagle ($5,000,000)
Also selling for $5 million, the Eagle was produced in 1804. This design of the coin showed Liberty on one side, and a large eagle on the other. 1804 was the last year in which the denomination was minted; Eagles would not be made again until 30 years later.
4. Umayyad Gold Dinar ($6,029,400)
The oldest coin on the list, the Umayyad Gold Dinar was made in the year 723 by the Umayyad Caliphate, which encompassed the areas now known as the Middle East, northern Africa, and Spain. Different designs were used during the reign of each caliph. At the time of its sale in 2011, it was the second most expensive coin ever sold.
3. 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle ($7,370,000)
The double eagle, a $20 coin, was never officially circulated for use. All but two were ordered to be destroyed, with these two being preserved in a collection at the Smithsonian. 20 were stolen and later recovered, with 9 of them being melted down, 10 being stored at Fort Knox, and only one is held by a private collector.
2. Brasher Doubloon, EB on breast ($7,400,000)
Coming in 2nd place is another Brasher Doubloon, this time with the EB stamped on the eagle’s breast.
1. Flowing Hair Dollar ($10,016,875)
The most expensive coin ever sold is another example of the Flowing Hair dollar, described as “the finest known example”.