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Diverse collection of coin varieties blended together


Scarce coins, historically influential, or in pristine condition tend to have higher numismatic value than commonly circulated coins. A coin’s value depends on several factors, including mintage (how many copies were made), age, condition, composition, and demand. Some coins gain immense value over time due to their rarity or historical importance.


In this article, we will highlight six famous coins with extraordinary numismatic value and discuss what makes them valuable.


1. Alexander the Great Tetradrachm

Coins featuring Alexander the Great, the king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon, are highly coveted by collectors due to their immense historical significance. Many feature flawless old Greek engraving that is artistic and aesthetically gorgeous.

His famous silver tetradrachm coins dating to 325-323 BCE show the idealized profile of a youthful Alexander and the seated figure of Zeus on the reverse. These coins are prized for their exquisite artistry and connection to Alexander, one of history’s greatest conquerors and generals.

High-grade examples can fetch over $175,000 at auction, while the most numismatic value specimens have sold for close to $2 million. Few individuals in history have had the same collecting appeal, making these coins linked to Alexander the Great true numismatic treasures.


2. 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar


Obverse and reverse view of the 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar


The 1794 Flowing Hair dollar was the first official dollar coin issued by the US government. With a mintage of just 1,758 pieces, these inaugural dollars are among America’s rarest and most coveted coins.

The 1794 dollars feature a bust of Liberty with flowing hair on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse. As the first year of production, they are highly prized, and only about 120-130 examples are estimated to exist still.

In 2013, one of the finest known 1794 dollars sold at auction for over $10 million, setting the record price for any coin sold at auction. Low mintage and their status as the first US dollar made the 1794 Flowing Hair dollars extremely valuable and sought-after by early American coin collectors.


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3. 1907 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle ($20)

Regarded as one of the most beautiful American coins ever produced, the 1907 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle underwent multiple design revisions and had a very low mintage, making its numismatic value soar high.

The 1907 Double Eagle, selling at auction for between $4 million and $7.6 million, features a full-length figure of Liberty designed by renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Only around 30 ultra-high-relief specimens were struck before the US Mint simplified the relief to make it more feasible for mass production.

These ultra-high-relief coins are considered America’s most beautiful and sculptural coins. Their combination of immense rarity, extraordinary artistry, and origins during the early 20th century’s ‘Golden Age of Coinage’ cement them as one of the most desirable coins in the world.


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4. Double Struck 1943 Bronze Lincoln Cent

The rare 1943 bronze Lincoln wheat penny is among the most famous error coins. In 1943, copper was conserved for World War II, and Lincoln cents were made from zinc-coated steel instead of copper.

A few copper blanks got accidentally mixed in, resulting in highly scarce and valuable bronze cents from that year.

But the most famous 1943 cent is a unique double-struck bronze error coin, the only known example. It sold in 2010 for a world record $1.7 million at auction. This one-of-a-kind coin has complete mirror-like doubling on both sides, caused by being struck twice.

With its dual errors - the wrong metal bronze planchet and dramatic double striking - this 1943 Lincoln cent is a holy grail rarity worth a fortune. Its numismatic value as an unrepeatable mistake makes it unique and appealing.


5. 1974-D Aluminum Lincoln Cent


Obverse and reverse view of the 1974-D Aluminum Lincoln Cent


Among the rarest modern error coins is the 1974-D aluminium Lincoln cent. Typically, Lincoln cents are struck in bronze-plated zinc or copper-plated zinc. However, a few 1974 cents were mistakenly struck on aluminium planchets for the 1974-D aluminium trial pennies.

Only a few examples are known to exist, making them enormously valuable. One specimen graded MS-63 by PCGS sold in 2014 for an astounding $250,000 at auction. It is the most valuable Lincoln cent error and one of the priciest modern error coins.

These white-coloured aluminium cents stand out vividly from regular bronze Lincoln pennies. The scarcity, novelty, and appeal of such a dramatic mint error give the 1974-D aluminium cents numismatic fame.


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6. 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin

In 2009, the US Mint issued an Ultra High Relief $20 gold coin commemorating Saint-Gaudens’ original 1907 design. Struck in .9999 fine gold, this revived version featured the same extravagant sculptural relief as Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ intended vision.

With Roman numerals MMIX (2009) on the reverse, this modern Double Eagle is a tribute to early 20th-century20th-century US coinage. The Ultra High Relief coins were struck in proof and uncirculated versions, with only 115,000 minted. This relatively low mintage ensures their long-term rarity.

Collectors value these 2009 Double Eagles at around $2,000 in perfect grade. In the coming decades, their numismatic value will likely increase exponentially due to their link to the original 1907 coins and their ultra-low mintage compared to today’s mass-produced modern bullion coins. An estimated perfect specimen value is over $2 million long-term.


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Closing Thoughts

The coins highlighted in this article illustrate why certain numismatic pieces can become immensely valuable and coveted. Factors like age, rarity, historical significance, condition, and beauty give certain coins universal appeal, translating to astronomical market values.

Legendary coins will always captivate our imaginations and provide a tangible connection to the past.

Understanding the background stories and unique attributes behind famous numismatic rarities provides insight into this fascinating hobby and why people dedicate themselves to coin collecting.

While most coins will never achieve ultra-high values like those covered here, the journey of discovery and appreciation is rewarding for enthusiasts at all levels.


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“When considering “CFDs” for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant risk and could result in capital loss. Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be considered investment advice.”

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