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Top 10 Rare Coins Every Collector Should Know About

Rare coins offer a unique blend of historical significance, artistic beauty, and financial value, making them highly sought after by collectors around the world. Here’s a detailed look at the top 10 rare coins that every collector should know about, including their histories and why they are prized additions to any collection.

1. 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle

  • History: This $20 gold coin was designed by renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Although nearly half a million were minted, they were never released due to the Gold Recall Act of 1933.
  • Value: A 1933 Double Eagle sold for over $18 million in 2021, making it one of the most valuable coins ever.

2. 1804 Silver Dollar

  • History: Known as the “King of American Coins,” the 1804 Silver Dollar was actually struck in the 1830s for diplomatic gifts. Only 15 are known to exist.
  • Value: Depending on condition and pedigree, these coins can fetch millions of dollars at auction.

3. 1913 Liberty Head Nickel

  • History: Only five of these nickels were minted, and their existence was unknown until the 1920s. They were struck clandestinely at the Philadelphia Mint.
  • Value: A 1913 Liberty Head Nickel sold for $4.5 million in 2018.

4. 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar

  • History: This was the first silver dollar coin issued by the United States federal government. Only about 1,758 were minted.
  • Value: A high-quality 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar sold for over $10 million in 2013.

5. 1909 VDB Lincoln Cent

  • History: The 1909 VDB Lincoln Cent was the first year of the Lincoln cent, featuring the designer Victor David Brenner’s initials on the reverse. Only a few were minted with these initials before they were removed.
  • Value: Pristine examples can sell for several thousand dollars.

6. 1652 Pine Tree Shilling

  • History: This coin was minted in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and is one of the earliest American coins. It features a pine tree on one side, symbolizing the New England forests.
  • Value: Depending on condition, these coins can be worth thousands of dollars.

7. 1943 Copper Penny

  • History: Due to a wartime need for copper, pennies in 1943 were made from zinc-coated steel. However, a few copper pennies were mistakenly struck.
  • Value: A 1943 copper penny can fetch upwards of $100,000 at auction.

8. 1787 Brasher Doubloon

  • History: Ephraim Brasher, a New York City goldsmith, privately minted these gold coins. They are among the first gold coins made in the United States.
  • Value: In 2011, a Brasher Doubloon sold for nearly $7.4 million.

9. 1802 Draped Bust Half Dime

  • History: This rare half dime, featuring the Draped Bust design, is highly sought after due to its low mintage and historical significance.
  • Value: High-grade examples can sell for over $300,000.

10. 1822 Capped Bust Half Eagle

  • History: Only three specimens of the 1822 Capped Bust Half Eagle ($5 gold coin) are known to exist, with one held in the Smithsonian Institution.
  • Value: One of the remaining two coins sold for $8.4 million in 2021.


Collecting rare coins is more than just a hobby; it’s a journey through history and a potential investment opportunity. These top 10 rare coins are not only valuable due to their precious metal content but also for their unique stories and historical significance. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or new to the field, adding any of these coins to your collection would be a remarkable achievement.

At Premier Coin Galleries, we specialize in helping collectors find and acquire the rarest and most sought-after coins. Contact us today to learn more about our offerings and how we can assist you in building a world-class collection.