Coin collectors love building a collection of rare coins. They often include commemorative coins, which are minted to celebrate a particular event or figure in history.
Some of these coins are worth millions and are even considered art pieces. Here are some of the most valuable commemorative coins of all time.
- Brasher Doubloons
One of the most desirable collectible coins is a gold coin made in 1787 by New York silversmith Ephraim Brasher. It was the first legal tender coin made in America and is considered one of the most valuable American coins ever struck.
It was privately minted five years before the federal mint opened in Philadelphia and is known as the “Brasher Doubloon.” This unique piece features a striking design of the Great Seal of the United States, an eagle clutching an olive branch in one claw and arrows in the other. In the center of the obverse is the national motto, “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” meaning “Out of Many, One.” The reverse shows Ephraim Brasher’s hallmark, EB, engraved on the wing of the eagle.
The composition of these pieces differs from earlier Spanish doubloons, which were mostly a mix of silver and copper with only a small percentage of gold. Instead, the Brasher Doubloon was made of a blend of 90 percent gold and 10 percent silver, which is unusual in U.S. coinage since most gold coins were made of pure gold.
Most numismatic experts agree that the Brasher Doubloon is one of the most important coins ever produced. It is the most expensive coin ever sold at auction, with a recent sale of a single example selling for over $7.3 million dollars.
Few other coins capture the fervor of early American independence like this one. It is a symbol of the nation’s struggle to overcome tyranny and discrimination by other countries and establish a national identity.
Some numismatic experts say that the Brasher Doubloon is the most important coin in all of history. The coin is incredibly rare and was struck only in small numbers, making it very collectible.
However, this coin has become extremely difficult to find and is not widely available in the market today. It has been marketed to a private buyer and is now being offered at an unspecified price, expected to be $15 million.
It is a very interesting piece and has a very nice matte finish. It also has a lot of interesting details.
- 1913 Liberty Head Nickel
The 1913 Liberty Head Nickel is one of the most valuable commemorative coins in the world. It’s rare, but it’s also a bit of a mystery.
The United States Mint stopped making nickels in 1912, but a few were made clandestinely, presumably at the beginning of the year. Some of these nickels were later used to make collectors’ items, and some were sold.
While it’s not considered a coin worth more than five cents, this one has been on the market for over $5 million since 2021. Now, the coin has finally been acquired by a coin auction house for $4.2 million.
According to GreatCollections, this particular 1913 Liberty Head is the second of only five known specimens. Two of the five are in museums.
In 2003, a group of numismatic experts decided to see if they could find the fifth, which had been hidden in an heir’s closet for decades. The American Numismatic Association and Bowers and Merena offered a $1 million reward for whoever had it, with the promise that the coin would be displayed at their annual convention in July 2003.
The story behind the 1913 Liberty Head is pretty remarkable, and a lot of people have been involved in it over the years. It started when Samuel W. Brown, the mayor of North Tonawanda, New York, decided to advertise 1913 Liberty Head nickels in the coin magazine Numismatist.
Brown was a big promoter of numismatics, and his advertisement got the word out about nickels. Soon, other coin dealers were advertising for them as well.
These ads led to people checking their change in hopes of a 1913 Liberty Head nickel. Some even tried to track down a dealer who had been advertising for them in the early 1900s.
But the truth is that it’s possible that no coin has ever been found. Only the five examples that are known have likely been minted. But they are all extremely rare, and some of them are worth millions.
- Peace Dollar
The Peace Dollar is one of the most iconic and sought-after silver coins ever produced in the United States. Designed by Anthony de Francisci, it features Lady Liberty on the obverse side and an eagle on the reverse. This 90% silver coin was minted at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco mints and is still a very popular and valuable collectible today.
The obverse of the Peace Dollar depicts Lady Liberty in a profile position with flowing hair and a radiant crown on her head. The reverse features an eagle perched on a mountain peak. The coin also includes the words “In God We Trust,” the date and the U.S. Mint’s initials, and the word “Liberty.”
There were many competing designs for the Peace Dollar. Some of the more notable ones include those of John Tilney, George Washington, and Alexander MacKenzie. However, it was Anthony de Francisci who won the competition in 1921.
Anthony de Francisci was 34 years old when he won the design contest, and his winning portrait of Liberty was said to have been inspired by his wife, Teresa. He was also the youngest designer to win the competition and the first to use a woman’s torso on a silver dollar.
Despite being a relatively low-value silver coin, the Peace Dollar is still desirable among collectors and investors. Because of its silver content and limited mintage, it is a rare coin that trades at a premium in the market.
Even though the value of a silver Peace Dollar varies based on the year, mint mark, and condition, they tend to hold their value quite well. This makes them a great addition to any collection or as an investment for those looking to diversify their portfolio.
When purchasing a Peace Silver Dollar, it is important to ensure that it has been certified or professionally graded by a third-party grading service. These grades will provide an accurate representation of the condition of your Peace Silver Dollar and allow you to better understand its worth in the marketplace.
A good rule of thumb is that the higher the grade, the more money your coin will be worth. This is especially true of high-end dates and mints that are difficult to find in pristine condition.
- 1343 Edward III Florin
The 1343 Edward III Florin was one of England’s earliest and rarest gold coins ever. It was minted only in January-July 1344, and only three specimens of this coin have survived for centuries, making it one of the most coveted coins in the world.
It has the obverse of King Edward III on his throne with two leopards’ heads at each side, while the reverse shows a Royal Cross within a quatrefoil. It is also known as a Double Leopard, which refers to the leopards on both sides of the coin.
This was the first gold coin England had ever produced, and it was minted at a time when English silver coins were not popular or available for trading. Until then, England had been entirely dependent on silver coins for domestic and international trade.
However, this new gold coin allowed English kings to start exporting goods from the country. It also helped to increase the country’s wealth during the Hundred Years’ War with France.
Until this point, silver pennies had been the only money English kings could use. Until this new gold coin emerged, the only way to buy or sell gold in England was by importing it from other European countries.
It is no wonder that this coin, crafted from the finest gold available at the time, has become so valuable. The coin’s rarity, purity, and one-of-a-kind design are all factors that add to its value.
Another reason why this coin is so valued is because of the legend that was written on it. It reads, “Edward, by the Grace of God King of England and France, Lord of Ireland.”
The obverse of this coin is similar to many other medieval coins, with the king seated beneath a canopy with two leopards’ heads on each side. The reverse is different from other Medieval coins and features the Royal Cross inside a quatrefoil.
This gold coin was minted only in January-July of 1344, and it has been said that the coin was melted at the end of its run due to fluctuating silver values. Its limited circulation meant that it was very popular with collectors, who often paid a premium for its beauty and value.