Littleton Coin Company

Coins that sold for BIG bucks,
Plus coins to look for in pocket change!

1794 Silver Dollar - Littleton Coin Blog

1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar – Photo courtesy of Stack’s Bowers

Rare coin sales have set many records recently, including an amazing 17 different U.S. coins that each sold for over one million dollars in 2015! These “dream coins” or “trophy coins” include early copper cents, silver coins from dimes to dollars, and gold coins from quarter eagles to double eagles.

World record price over $10 million!

If you’re wondering which coin sold for the most money ever, it’s a historic 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar that sold for over 10 million dollars in 2013! Graded Specimen-66 by PCGS, this is the finest known coin from the first year U.S. silver dollars were minted. Its amazing quality suggests it may have been the first silver dollar ever struck and was carefully preserved for posterity. A different 1794 Flowing Hair dollar sold in 2015 for nearly $5 million (visit our Learn Center for more about these early dollars).

A number of other records have been set in recent years for particular U.S. coin denominations and compositions:

    • 1913 Nickel - Littleton Coin Blog

      1913 Liberty Head Nickel – Photo courtesy of Heritage Auctions

      An Ultra High Relief 1907 Saint-Gaudens double eagle sold for nearly $3 million and a very rare last-year-of-issue 1933 Saint-Gaudens went for over $7.5 million (holding the single coin record until the sale of the 1794 silver dollar mentioned above). Close on the heels of the 1933 “Saint” was a privately minted 1787 gold Brasher Doubloon that changed hands for $7.4 million in 2011.

    • Among the most celebrated U.S. coins is the 1804 Draped Bust silver dollar. Three of the 15 specimens known to exist have sold at auction since 1999 – fetching $2.3 million, over $3.7 million and $4.14 million!
    • But records have not been limited to high-denomination coins. During 2015 alone, a 1793 Flowing Hair cent sold for $2.35 million while a 1796 Draped Bust quarter and 1797 Draped Bust half dollar each went for more than $1.5 million.
    • One of the five known examples of the 1913 Liberty Head nickel (a legendary coin of mysterious origin) brought over $3.7 million in 2010, and an 1894-S Barber silver dime with just 24 known changed hands in January of this year for just under $2 million.
New England Shilling - Littleton Coin Blog

New England Shilling sold at auction.

  • Lest you think all records are being set by American coins, a rare Islamic Gold Dinar struck in 723, set the record for non-U.S. coins in 2011 with a price of more than 6 million dollars!

(LCC president David Sundman recently sold his own “dream coin” at auction – an extremely rare 1652 (undated) New England Shilling – along with 18 other scarce and rare Massachusetts Bay Colony coins (read this exciting story).

Coins to watch for in pocket change!

While these record-setting rarities are out of reach for most of us, several modern coins worth far more than face value can still be found in your pocket or purse, or in rolls from a bank. Keep an eye out for these scarce modern error coins:

  • 2005-D “Speared Bison” Westward Journey Nickel with a vertical line extending from the bison’s back and stomach due to a die gouge. Certified Gem MS-66 examples sold for $517 at the January 2016 F.U.N. Show in Tampa and for $764 at the February 2016 Long Beach Expo!
  • Statehood Quarter Errors are in strong demand, including the 2004-D Wisconsin issue with an “extra” high or low leaf on the ear of corn (value up to $300), the 2005 Minnesota issue with an “extra” tree (worth up to $200) and the 2005-P Kansas quarter with motto reading in god we rust due to a plugged “T” (value up to $100). See our Statehood quarter inventory.
  • Jackson Presidential Dollar, no edge lettering error - Littleton Coin Blog

    Presidential dollar error, no edge lettering.

    2007 Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison Presidential Dollars missing the edge inscriptions of the date, mint mark and mottoes e pluribus unum and in god we trust are sought-after issues worth up to hundreds of dollars depending on condition (Presidential dollars).

Record prices for major rarities and widespread interest in modern errors indicate that the coin market is strong and thriving. Such eye-opening prices also add lots of excitement to the collecting hobby!

Do you keep an eye on coin market news? Let us know if you’ve seen other scarce or rare coins sell for impressive prices!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  1. bill knight | Reply
    • LCC Writing Team | Reply

Leave a Reply