30 Rare Coins That Cost A Pretty Penny
There’s so much cultural history that comes with an antique that has been around for decades or centuries. That is just one of the many reasons why vintage items cost so much. Whether it’s a family heirloom or a piece of history, it can be hard to put a price on certain things. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible — just difficult. When we think of expensive vintage items, our minds usually conjure images of cars and famous artwork, but the price is not proportional to an object’s size. Coins, for example, have always been common collector items. And these small metal discs can be pretty valuable. Take a look at these high-valued coins that sum up to a whopping total of $5.5 million.
1922 Lincoln No D Strong Reverse and Weak Obverse Wheat Penny
Amongst the three versions of this coin, this particular version is quite different from all the other ones. A fresh die was used for this coin, which is why the head has such sharp edges on its side. Earlier on the obverse, though, there was a blurred head.
But, the coin missed the mint mark, and also, the total certified coins were less than the actual number of coins that were made. It was because the NGC refused its attribution for over 1.5 decades. Yet, it sold for $48,000.
2007 C$1M Coin
This one is a rare example of a coin where the size matches its worth. You wouldn’t believe it, but the C$1M Coin is a 100kg coin that is made up of 99.999% gold. It’s easily one of the most symbolic coins to this day.
Although the face value of this magnificent coin is a million, it was sold for a whopping $4.1 million. It was never intended for circulation and was only minted upon request of the Royal Canadian Mint. Sadly, one of the five copies was stolen from the Berlin museum in 2017.
1969 S Lincoln Penny Doubled Die Obverse
The 1969 S Lincoln Penny weighed around 3.11 grams, and it was made out of copper and zinc. The coin was minted in San Francisco, and the reason behind the unique double image was that the die was prepared improperly.
But, what makes this coin so special is that people actually began forging this doubled die coin in the hopes of cashing in on the rarity. Later, five of these coins were destroyed by the government to avoid the after-effects. In 2008, the coin was sold for $126,500.
1913 Liberty Head Nickel
Behold the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel. It holds the distinction as one of the most valuable coins ever minted. What makes this coin so unique is that only five of these coins made it to the public eye. All other copies were destroyed.
Now, there has been a lot of talk about a sixth one existing, but there has been no confirmed report about it yet. The finest 1913 Liberty Nickel Coin had a $5 million valuation, and it was also sold for that in 2007. In 2018, it was resold at $4.56 million.
1933 Double Eagle
The 1933 Double Eagle is one of the most notorious coins among US collectors. It’s pretty valuable for an investor or a collector, but owning one of these isn’t as easy when compared to many other coins you’ll see on this list. Here’s why.
Firstly, it’s almost illicit to own one of these. But, if you manage to acquire one of these, it has also been known to bring bad luck to its owners. Lastly, these coins weren’t even made for public circulation, yet, they were somehow released. It’s valued at $7.6 million.
1944-D Lincoln Penny
The 1944-D Lincoln Penny is made of zinc-coated silver, and it’s a tad bit lighter (literally) than other coins, weighing around 2.70 grams. Interestingly, this coin was actually made as a mistake when an outdated silver coin was struck by accident.
There are also records of these coins having S and D mint marks. Yet, the approximate number of Denver mints is not more than ten coins. One of these uncirculated coins was sold at an auction in 2007 at $115,000.
1804 Silver Dollar Class I
Also known as the “King of American Coins,” the 1804 Silver Dollar is a unique and pricey piece. This coin itself was sold for around $4.1 million. Like many other coins on this list, it’s rare with only 15 of these 1804 Silver Dollar Coins existing.
The other classes from this coin are also valued similarly. Although these coins were labeled 1804, they were minted after the 1830s! The front of the coin displays Lady Liberty, and the back has a gold eagle with 13 stars.
1922-D Lincoln, No D, Strong Reverse, Die Pair 2
This coin is made up of copper, zinc, and tin. It weighs around 3.11 grams, and it also misses the mint mark because of Denver Mint’s damaged die. Surprisingly, that is also what happened with the 1804 Silver Dollar we just showed you!
The coin had a more sharp image on the back than it had on the front, as you can see from the fresh head die. This coin was also considered to be the true one among its other versions. It was sold for $63,000.
1873 Doubled ‘Closed 3’ Indian Head Penny
This one is called the Indian Head Penny. This one-cent penny was designed in two distinguished patterns. As you can see, there’s a gap in the number three in 1873, which is considered to be this coin’s specialty as well!
Now, there are two things here. If this gap in number three was wide, it’s considered Open 3. If it the gap was smaller, it would be considered a Closed 3, which is what this coin is. This 1873 coin was valued at $12,650.
1914-S Lincoln Penny
The 1914-S Lincoln Penny is a beautiful bronze coin measuring 19 mm in diameter. It weighs 3.11 grams, and it has a bright red color, which is because of the high amount of copper in it. The color hasn’t faded out because of reduced circulation and ideal preservation.
This penny was sold for a whopping $105,800, and guess what? This one came out of the San Francisco Mint along with four million other pennies! When it was sold back in 2006, it still had its authentic bright red color on it.
1907 Golden Eagle Wire Edge
The 1907 Golden Eagle Wire Edge coin was designed by Christian Gobrecht. It’s a ten-dollar liberty head coin that was minted between the late 1830s to early 1900s. There were 500 of these coins minted before it was discontinued in 1907.
It is one of the most used coins that has been minted in American history. The front side shows a great rendition of Lady Liberty. You can also see the word “Liberty” beautifully inscribed on that side. It was sold for $2.8 million.
1793 Flowing Hair Liberty Cap Large Cent Penny
The 1793 Flowing Hair Liberty Cap Coin is one of three versions of the Flowing Hair coin design. It was minted between 1973 and 1976 and after which it was replaced by the Draped Bust coin. This piece of history is different from its counterparts…
The coin was heavier than usual, as it officially weighed 13.48 grams. Later, the weight was reduced to 11 grams, which also led to many of it having plain edges, which became a pretty rare thing. It went on to be sold on eBay for $19,950.
1943 Bronze Lincoln Penny
Just like the 1943-D Bronze Lincoln penny, the 1943 Bronze Lincoln penny was also coined in bronze due to an accident at the Mint. This coin was minted from Philadelphia, but there’s no mint mark engraving on it. The coin weighs 3.11 grams.
According to many sources, there wouldn’t have been more than a dozen of these coming out of the Philadelphia mind. Out of these, two were recently certified. Also, this coin is the only one that’s certified as a Philadelphia-minted 1943 red penny.
1907 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle
The 1907 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle coin is by far one of the most gorgeous coins produced by the USA. Augustus Saint-Gaudens is the designer of the coin, who was also specially appointed by then-president Roosevelt for the $29 gold coin.
The aim was to revive the USA’s coinage system, and it did make things pretty stable back in the day. This coin was minted in a high-relief design, which made things difficult after it expired. It is valued at an astonishing $7.6 million.
1943-S Lincoln Cent
The 1943-S Lincoln Cent is a 3.11-gram bronze coin that’s another great example of mistakes on coins. However, as we’re learning, mistakes are often rather valuable. Instead of being struck on a zinc-plated steel planchet, it was struck on bronze.
It is said that there are no more than six coins still around today, making them exceptionally rare. One of the surviving coins was sold at a California auction back in February 2016 for an amount of $282,000. Quite the mark-up from 1 cent.
1958 Doubled Die Obverse Lincoln Penny
The 1958 Double Die Obverse Lincoln Penny weighs 3.11 grams, and it’s a beautiful coin. It has a double image on it, which, although was a result of minting errors, makes it a very rare coin. There’s more about this one.
The coin belongs to a rare type, and it’s also said that only three of this kind of penny have made it till now. This coin comprises copper, tin, zinc, and the red color brings more value to it. It was sold for $336,600 at an auction in 2018.
1794/5 Flowing Hair Silver/Copper Dollar
Here we have another Flowing Hair coin. This silver/copper dollar coin sold for an astounding $10 million in 2013. This particular piece of currency is highly valued, even on a list such as this. So, what makes this coin so special?
Experts say that this pricey coin was likely the first dollar coin ever minted by the US government. While all of the coins on this list are a piece of history, this one is arguably the most culturally significant one.
1944-S Lincoln Steel Penny
The 1944-S Lincoln Steel Penny was among the multiple coins that were going to be minted in a bronze alloy with 95% copper, with the remainder 5% being tin. But, all three of the mints were used on zinc-steel planchets.
This particular minting error was the main reason why these coins are now considered one of the rarest and unique coins. However, one of the uncirculated Lincoln Steel pennies made it to a Baltimore auction, where it was sold for $373,750.
1787 Brasher Doubloon
The 1787 Brasher Doubloon coin is a really special one since it symbolizes one of the greatest moments in the USA’s numismatic history. It’s the first gold coin that was minted by the USA! The most expensive of these coins have the Brasher hallmark initials.
The initials were indented on the eagle’s breast, and that’s the only coin you’d find that way. This coin was recently placed back on the market, and it’s valued at a whopping $7.4 million. It’s made up of 6% silver, 9% copper, and a blend of other elements, and the rest is just gold.
1877 Indian Head Penny
This coin is one of the rarest coins you’d ever come across. The 1877 Indian Head Penny is fully red in color, which is really hard to get. Only around 852,000 of these coins were produced, so you can imagine the rarity.
During the economic depression, around ten million cents were returned, and around 9.82 million of them were reissued. So, this coin is one of those currencies that has come really far since its initial mintage. In 2007, it was valued at $149,500.
1926-S Lincoln Penny
The 1926-S Lincoln Penny weighs around 3.11 grams. It was minted in San Francisco, and for reasons unknown, the mintage numbers were pretty low that particular year. In addition to the mysteriously low mintage, the details were poor on both sides.
But, this particular coin is one of the few coins that were among the freshly-minted ones. It was sold for $149,500 at an auction in Orlando in January of 2006. As you can see, this particular penny was in great condition.
1864 Indian Head Penny With ‘L’ on the Ribbon
Somewhere during the year 1864, the government decided to switch from the copper-nickel mixes to a bronze alloy one. That’s the reason why this coin has copper, tin, and zinc in it. Not only that but there’s also the letter “L” on the ribbon’s tail if you notice!
There were five million of these coins minted, but very few of them were in uncirculated condition. The coin weighs around 3.11 grams. It was sold at a 2011 Pittsburgh auction where a lucky collector took it home after bidding $161,000.
1914-D Lincoln Penny
The 1914-D Lincoln pennies have been through a lot and have come really far. These pennies have had very poor survival rates till now because of a high circulation rate. Even the coins that survived aren’t really in great condition.
Many collectors even faked these pennies by altering the 1944 ones. But, the 1914 D cents are a bit distinguishable from the mint marks and the gap between the digits. One of the uncirculated pennies was sold for $158,625 in 2018.
1872 Indian Head Penny
The 1872 Indian Head Penny is another 3.11 gram-weighing coin. It was sold at an auction in Milwaukee in 2007 for a value of $126,500. It is a coin that’s fully red, which is a rarity, and also, it’s one of the lowest minted pennies in this series.
Not only are these coins rare to find these days, but whenever they resurface, they are found in really poor conditions. But, this penny, unlike the other ones, was from a fresh die, and it was found in an amazing condition.
1943 Bronze Lincoln Penny
The 1943 Bronze Lincoln Penny is a coin weighing 3.11 grams that is copper-red. It’s also one of the most famous coin mistakes of all time. It has copper, tin, and zinc in it. The error was that these coins were mistakenly struck in bronze!
Its “origin” story sounds like something out of a movie. In 1947, a high school student found this penny in his pocket, while looking for spare change. In January 2019, a collector purchased this beautiful coin at an auction for the value of $204,000.
1795 Reeded Edge Cent
The 1795 Reeded Edge Cent is one of the rarest big cent varieties ever to exist. This coin is considered a rarity because only seven of these are left today, and guess what? All of those coins are in low grade.
However, the finest of those coins is a VG10 coin that was graded by PCGS. In 2008, this coin became the first large cent that was valued at more than a million dollars, despite its condition. It was sold for $1.26 million.
1943-D Lincoln Bronze Penny
The 1943-D Lincoln Bronze penny is a bit different from the other coins since it was made from a bronze alloy and not the usual zinc-plated silver. It’s also the only identified reference of the Lincoln Bronze penny from the Denver mint.
But, twenty of these bronze alloy coins were found in the mints in San Francisco and Philadelphia. This coin weighs 3.11 grams, like many others on this list, and in an auction in New Jersey in 2010, it was sold for a surprising $1.7 million.
1856 Flying Eagle Penny
The 1856 Flying Eagle Penny is simply iconic. It weighs 4.7 grams, and it has been made from a copper-nickel alloy. It’s rare, as it was issued for a brief period. Because of cost problems, the government had to reduce its diameter and add some copper in it with other materials.
634 of these coins were minted. However, foreign gold and silver pennies were also replaced by these coins. But, these were soon discontinued, and the Indian Head coins took over from there. This coin was sold for $172,500 at an auction in 2004.
1909 V.D.B. Matte Proof Lincoln Penny
These coins are among the very first Lincoln coins. In the beginning, the “V.D.B” at the bottom was tagged, although it was removed later. Those are the initials of the designer of the coin. This coin also had a matte-proof die.
Before the initials of the coin were removed, only around 1,194 coins were produced in this particular manner. This coin was in great condition. It comprises tin, zinc, and copper. It was sold for $258,500 at an auction in 2014.
1343 Edward III Florin
We have seen coins from the 1700s to the 1800s and the 1900s. But here’s a coin that goes all the way back to 1343. We are talking about the 1343 Edward III Florin coin. Only three of these coins have survived from then till now.
Now that’s a really long time. During its inception, it was valued at six shillings. Well, today, it is valued at over $6.8 million, as it was sold for that price at an auction a few years ago. This coin is also called the doubled leopard.