Valuable Coins to Collect

The Most Valuable Coins to Collect and Why You Should Start Today!

Most collectors dream about finding a rare Buffalo Nickel, a Morgan silver dollar, or overall being able to purchase extremely rare coins.

Unfortunately, the rarest coins are hard to come across. Educating yourself on these valuable items is crucial, whether you’re a beginner in the field or a seasoned collector.

Collecting coins is an investment more than a hobby. Therefore, identifying rare items is essential because they’re worth a lot of money.

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The world is unique, and expensive coins are out there waiting for you to purchase or find them. Here are some of the rarest models you’ll find.

1343 Edward III Florin

1343 Edward III Florin

The Edward III Florin, also known as the Double Leopard, is one of the rarest coins in the world. Currently, only three exemplars exist.

In 2006, someone achieved the dream of any numismatic: they found one of these rare coins with a metal detector. They sold it at $850,000 at an English auction.

If you want, you can take a look at the other two of these valuable coins by going to the British Museum in London.

There are intricate details on the front of these rare coins. You’ll see a visage of King Edward III and his two leopards, which are flanking.

On the reverse of the coin, you’ll see a quatrefoil that includes the Royal Cross. Currently, experts think these are some of the most valuable coins in the world, and they’re worth around 6 million dollars.

2007 Canadian Gold Maple Leaf

2007 Canadian Gold Maple Leaf

The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf is one inch thick and weighs 220 pounds. It’s the world’s largest gold coin.

Just like the previously mentioned item, this one is also one of the most valuable coins out there. It’s worth 1 million dollars, and it’s the dream of many coin collectors.

The initial purpose of the first coins from this mint was to promote the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf ones, which weighed one ounce.

You can see Queen Elizabeth in front of these thick coins, while the Canadian maple leaf is on the back. In 2010, one of these items went to a private collector after they paid 4 million dollars for it, making it one of the most expensive ones in the world.

1913 Liberty Head Nickel

1913 Liberty Head Nickel

The 1913 Liberty Head Nickel is one of the most valuable coins by the United States mint. These coins were produced from 1883 to 1913, and in the last year of production, manufacturers only minted five of them.

Fortunately, if you’re in the coin-collecting world, you can see these items in numerous museums around the world, including the Smithsonian.

Lady Liberty is in the front of these coins, and in the rear, you’ll find the Roman numeral five. They’re only five grams in weight, and they’re 75% copper and 25% nickel.

Different auctions have sold these coins over the last years, and they’re very valuable. The most expensive nickels could cost millions of dollars, depending on the year of their minting.

1933 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle

1933 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle

The Saint Gaudens Double Eagle is a 1933 coin that also makes the cut when it comes to the most valuable items in the world. You won’t find any of these for a few hundred dollars!

In 2002, a private collector paid 8 million dollars for a Saint Gaudens Double Eagle. Then, in 2021, someone paid even more, giving a total sum of 19 million dollars for one of these items.

Initially, there were over 400,000 of these coins. However, after President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s gold call legislation, many (if not most) people melted them.

A few coins survived, and one of them even ended up in Egypt with King Farouk. That particular one went missing in 1952 when he sold his coins, but it reappeared in 1996.

Unfortunately, it’s illegal to own these early coins today. The one the private collector bought in 2002 is the only exception.

1928 China Silver Dollar

1928 China Silver Dollar

The Chinese Silver Dollar represents China’s 17th Republic, and it was made in 1928. In 2021, it earned its spot as one of the most valuable coins at a public auction due to its superior condition, which drastically made the price rise.

You’ll find military leader Governor Chang Tsao-lin on this silver dollar. He led Northwestern China but died from assassination in 1928 at the hands of the Japanese Kwantung Army.

Initially, experts thought the item would be worth much less. However, once they saw its state, they realized it was a pretty valuable coin. The Professional Coin Grading Service gave it an SP64!

1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar

1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar

The Flowing Hair Silver Dollar was the first one by the United States mint. Therefore, it has the top spot for the most expensive one in the world, being more expensive than the Morgan Silver Dollar and many other valuable items.

These 1794 silver dollars are 11% copper, and the face of Lady Liberty is on the front. In its rear, you’ll see the American eagle.

Since coin value is relative, it’s hard for some to understand why this one is the most valuable exemplar in the world. Professionals say that only 120 to 130 of these exist nowadays, and in 2013, one buyer paid over 10 million dollars to purchase one.

The Philadelphia mint struck 1,758 of these coins in one day. Nonetheless, the United States was recovering from the war with Great Britain and did not have access to precious metals.

Consequently, the US distributed the coins to VIPs only: diplomats, Congress members, visiting dignitaries, etc., proving that America could mint and create its own money. Collectors understand that due to their historical value, these exemplars are the most valuable coins worldwide.

What Rare Coin Models Do Collectors Love the Most?

There are plenty more coins that collectors love asides from the previously mentioned ones. Here are three other options that most numismatics would die for:

  • 1817/4 Capped Bust Half Dollar: it’s the rarest coin from the Philadelphia Mint. The exemplars are unique because instead of getting new coin dies each year, manufacturers would punch the old ones to make new coins, hence the dates.

  • 1787 Brasher Doubloom: along with the 1937 Buffalo Nickel (known as the most famous error coin in history), this one is also very valuable. Doubloom, George Washington’s neighbor, created it, and only seven of them exist.

  • 1797 Draped Bust Half Dollar: Congress commissioned the Draped Bust when Americans said they didn’t like the Flowing Hair design. Nowadays, these coins are over a million dollars since the American mint only produced a few of them.

What Makes Silver and Gold Coins Valuable?

Regardless of whether they’re from the Denver mint or World War II, gold and silver coins are immensely valuable.

Paper money replaced many of the original coins, such as the Morgan silver dollars and other models. Therefore, many collectors want old items that they can add to their stack of historically important pieces.

However, not all coins are worth a lot, even if they’re from the same mint. Several factors can influence this, and understanding them will help you make better purchasing decisions. Take a look!

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The number of coins that the mint issued is called the mintage. Logically, the most expensive ones only have a few copies.

Physical Conditions

The most crucial factor contributing to a coin’s worth is its physical condition. Therefore, you’ll soon realize that the most expensive exemplars are the ones that look pristine, while cosmetic or physical damages will decrease the price.

Mint Marks

You can determine the origin of a coin if you look at its surface and find its mint mark. The most common ones in the United States are the San Francisco mint, the Philadelphia mint, and the one from Denver. West Point is the rarest one, and you’ll usually only see it in bullion coins.

Meltdown Value

Any coin with precious metals will have a different price than others without them. The meltdown value refers to the number of these materials that would remain in the exemplar after you melt it.

Mint Error Coins

World records show that there are some error coins, and they’re extremely rare. They may have the wrong date or an extra leaf in their design. Whichever the case, these details could drive the price up.

Suggestions to Buy Valuable Coins

It doesn’t matter if you’re buying coins struck recently, a Lincoln Cent, or a super rare version of the Umayyad Gold Dinar. You need to be smart when you spend money because you’re investing in valuable items.

Overall, you could start with something less valuable if you don’t want to risk much. Then, as you gain knowledge and experience, try to build your collection.

Get in touch with other experts and tell them about what you’ve found and the exemplars you want to purchase. If you’re lucky, they may want the same coin as you, and they could tell you where to find it!

Furthermore, you have to know your history when you’re buying coins. Since there are extremely rare variants out there, you must be aware of how much money is fair to pay for what you’re getting. You don’t want to get scammed!

Even so, keep in mind that rarity is subjective. If you’re doing this as a hobby, don’t get obsessed with the idea of buying the first coin ever made or exemplars that no one else has. Instead, have fun!

In addition, you should be aware of market values and make a budget. The best collectors set aside some money for what they’ll buy and use that to find the best coins they can get.

If you want to meet like-minded people, don’t be afraid to window shop and attend expositions and shows.

You’ll be able to find others who want the same things as you and probably have more experience or contacts – get into their midst and add more items to your collection!

Final Thoughts

Collecting coins is a fantastic hobby to engage in due to numerous reasons. On the one hand, you’ll get to know more about history because you’ll have to do some research when you’re buying different items.

In addition, you’ll also need to know the basics of investing because you must ensure that the money you’re paying is the fair amount for what you’re getting.

On the other hand, you’ll get to meet people who love the same things as you. With time, you’ll build your collection and be able to show it to your loved ones!

There are numerous rare coins out there, and some of them cost millions of dollars. In some cases, you can see them in museums if you want. However, others are in private collections.

To start your coin-collecting journey, you’ll need to understand the factors that influence a coin’s value. Once you do, start browsing through different alternatives!

Arthur Karter


Hi, I’m Arthur, and nobody wants to wake up in their 50s like me that they are in serious debt with minimal assets. This wake-up call forced me to reevaluate everything. After going through the school of Hard Knocks, I’m ready to help you by sharing the best retirement choices and how they differ from all the same-old, same-old options that financial advisors sell. These alternatives will help you build and protect your wealth.

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