by the Indian head design, and Mint records show no Liberty head coins struck in 1913.
However, five are known to exist and it’s believed they were struck illegally by a Mint employee. The coin is one of the most famous in all of American numismatics, and also one of the most valuable.
At a Heritage auction in January 2010, the ‘Olsen’ specimen (which had once appeared on an episode of Hawaii Five-O) sold for a record price of $3,737,500
4) 1804 Class I Silver Dollar
Only eight of these coins are known to exist, minted as gifts for Asian rulers to trade negotiations in 1834. Standard 1804 dollars had been produced using old dies dated ‘1803’, and it wasn’t until 30 years later that silver dollars actually dated ‘1804’ were produced.
Described by many as the “King of American Coins”, a specimen known as the ‘Mickley-Reed Hawn’ specimen (due to its former owners) was sold by Heritage in 2008 as part of the famed Queller family collection of silver dollars for a price of $3,725,000.
3) 1804 Class I Silver Dollar
Another of these legendary coins was gifted to Rama III, King of Siam was passed to his successor King Rama IV, who (rumour has it) then gave it as a gift to the English educator Anna Leonowens in a story later retold as ‘The King and I’.
The coin was then sold by descendents of Leonowens in the 1950s, and displayed in the ‘King of Siam’ collection at the Smithsonian until 2001 when it was purchased by an anonymous collector for $4.14 million.
2) 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle
The 1933 double eagle is the most expensive coin ever sold at auction, and one of the most controversial of all U.S coins. 445,500 specimens were minted in 1933, but none were circulated due to a Presidential Act preventing the use of gold in legal tender. However, eleven examples are believed to have escaped being melted down, nine of those allegedly stolen directly from the Mint.
Only one example, formerly owned by Egyptian King Farouk, was declared legal to own by the U.S Government after a long-standing legal dispute. The rest have been destroyed or remain in the hands of national institutions. The last example sold at Sotheby’s in 2002 for a record price of $7.59 million.
1) Flowing Hair dollar
The Flowing Hair dollar was the very first dollar coin issued by the U.S government, minted from 1794 to 1795. It was replace in October 1795 by the Draped Bust dollar, and remains one of the Holy Grails of American numismatics.
In May 2010, the Flowing Hair dollar became the most valuable coin ever sold when a 1794 specimen was sold in a private sale for a World record price of $7.85 million.
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