What is the most expensive coin ever sold?

The 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar is considered to be the most expensive coin ever sold (that was put in circulation), commanding a price of over $10 million at a public auction by Stack’s Bowers Galleries in January 2013. This coin is considered to be one of the earliest and rarest coins in US history, and its historical significance, rarity, and excellent condition are among the reasons why it commanded such a high price.

The 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar was the first silver dollar ever minted by the United States Mint. It was designed by Robert Scot, who was the first chief engraver of the US Mint. The coin was struck in 1794 and features a portrait of Lady Liberty on one side and an eagle on the other side. The design of the coin is simple, yet elegant, and it represents the values and ideals of the newly formed United States.

The 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar is considered to be one of the rarest coins in US history because of its limited mintage. Only 1,758 of these coins were minted, and it is believed that only a few hundred of these coins still exist today. The limited mintage of the coin, combined with the fact that many of the surviving coins are in poor condition, makes the 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar a highly sought-after coin among collectors.

The condition of the 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar that was sold in 2013 is also a major factor in its high price. The coin was graded as Specimen-66 by the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), which is the second-highest grade that a coin can receive. The coin is considered to be in excellent condition, with sharp details and a deep, lustrous finish.

The historical significance of the 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar is another reason why it commanded such a high price at auction. The coin represents the birth of the United States Mint and the beginning of the country’s coinage system. The design of the coin, with its portrait of Lady Liberty and eagle, represents the values and ideals of the newly formed United States. The coin is also considered to be a symbol of the country’s independence and the American Revolution.

The 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar has a rich history that adds to its value and appeal. The coin was owned by some of the most prominent collectors in US history, including Louis E. Eliasberg Sr., who was the only person to have ever owned a complete collection of US coins. The coin was also part of the collection of Jack Lee, who was a well-known collector and investor in rare coins. The coin’s ownership history adds to its provenance and makes it even more desirable among collectors.

The sale of the 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar for over $10 million in 2013 was a significant event in the world of coin collecting. The sale set a new record for the highest price ever paid for a single coin at public auction, surpassing the previous record of $7.59 million for the 1933 Double Eagle gold coin. The sale also highlighted the increasing demand for rare coins among collectors and investors.

The sale of the 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar also had an impact on the wider market for rare coins. The sale demonstrated that rare coins can be a sound investment, as they can appreciate in value over time. The sale also raised awareness of the importance of preserving and protecting rare coins for future generations.

In conclusion, the 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar is the most expensive coin ever sold, commanding a price of over $10 million at a public auction by Stack’s Bowers Galleries in January 2013. The coin’s rarity, historical significance, and excellent condition are among the reasons it commanded such a high price.

Where did coins get their names?

Where did the dime get its name?

The word “dime” comes from the Latin word “decima,” meaning “tenth.” The dime was originally introduced in the United States in 1796 as a unit of currency worth one-tenth of a dollar. The word “dime” was used to refer to this coin because it represented one-tenth of a dollar, or ten cents. Over time, the word “dime” came to be used more broadly to refer to any coin worth ten cents, regardless of its design or composition.

Where did the nickel get its name?

The term “nickel” comes from the name of a German mineral called “kupfernickel,” which means “copper demon” or “false copper” in English. Kupfernickel was a nickname for a mischievous sprite that miners believed lived in copper mines. This mineral was found in the ore deposits in Germany that also contained copper. Miners who were extracting copper from the ore noticed that the mineral kupfernickel looked like copper but did not behave like copper. Instead, it was found to contain a new metal that was eventually named nickel.

The metal nickel was discovered in the late 17th century by Swedish chemist Axel Fredrik Cronstedt. The metal was named after the mineral kupfernickel, from which it was originally isolated. The name “nickel” eventually became associated with the 5-cent coin in the United States, which is made primarily of copper and nickel.

Where did the penny get its name?

The word “penny” comes from the Old English word “penig,” which originally referred to a small silver coin used in England since the 8th century. The word “penig” is believed to have come from a West Germanic word meaning “to buy” or “to sell.” Over time, the coin became known as a “penny” and eventually became the official unit of currency in England. When British colonists came to America, they brought the penny with them and it became a standard unit of currency in the United States as well. Today, the penny is the smallest denomination of currency in the United States, worth one cent.

Where did the quarter get its name?

The word “quarter” used in the context of currency comes from its original meaning of “one-fourth” or “25 percent.” The quarter, which is worth 25 cents, was introduced in the United States in 1796 as part of the Coinage Act of 1792, which established the first US Mint and standardized the country’s coinage. The quarter was originally designed to be one-quarter the value of a dollar, hence its name. The design of the quarter has changed over time, but it has remained a popular denomination of currency in the United States.

Where did the half dollar get its name?

The half dollar got its name from its value – it was originally worth 50 cents, or half a dollar. The half dollar was first introduced in the United States in 1794, along with the dollar, quarter, and dime, as part of the Coinage Act of 1792. The half dollar has gone through many design changes over the years, but it has remained an important denomination of currency in the United States, particularly for commemorative coins and special editions. Although the half dollar is not as commonly used in circulation today as it once was, it is still produced by the US Mint for collectors and enthusiasts.

What To Do If You Inherit A Coin Collection?

Your loving nana passed away, and in the back of an old sock drawer you find… coins? Coin collecting is a very popular hobby, especially for older people and many store coins for years, not telling anyone they have coins until it’s too late. Because of this, many people inherit coins having never known if they existed, what to do with inherited coins, or what value they may have.


For the love of God, I cannot stress this enough. DO NOT CLEAN THE COINS.

Cleaning coins is very bad for them. Although they make look better to the human eye shortly after cleaning, this causes small scrapes on the surface of the coin that can damage the value. Even damaged coins can have more value than a cleaned coin.

Acetone is the only way of “cleaning” a coin I have ever seen moderately accepted by coin collectors, but even that only removes things like adhesives or oils. If your coins have tape or glue, check out this article where I remove tape from a Peace Dollar.


Some collectors organize and label their coins very neatly, others…not so much. If you are inheriting a collection from a not so organized collector, you are going to have your work cut out for you, especially if you are new to the hobby. See if you can get a friend or family member who has some knowledge on coins to help you out. You can pay them, or even offer them a few coins from the collection. (Just make sure you know what you are offering and trust the person.)

Hand in hand with organizing is proper storage, check out this article on storing coins properly. When handling coins, you want to hold them by the rims, and avoid touching the face. Our hands have oils which are damaging to the metal of the coin.

Not every coin is valuable enough to need careful handling. I don’t worry about change in my pocket jangling around, but if you are not sure what you have, it is best to err with caution.

Learn a Little

If you have stumbled upon this article, I assume you aren’t too keen on selling the coins to the first buyer or even worse… dumping them in a Coinstar. This could be good motivation for you to learn a bit about a century’s old hobby.

I think teaching you how to identify a coin is a little beyond the scope of this article. Here are some things to look for:

I won’t get too involved in identifying coins for this article, but a good resource is this article on Coin Roll Hunting.

Consult a Professional

Find a local coin store, coin fair, or a local collector who can help you determine what your coins are worth. I would recommend doing an initial sorting phase beforehand though, so that you have a sense of what may be valuable. This will save your time as well as the consultant. Plus, although I think most coin collector are very credible and honest people, there are some who are willing to profit off of another’s ignorance.

Should I sell coins I have inherited?

This is really going to be up to the individual. Do you need the funds and find very little joy in owning them? Then it’s probably best to sell the coins so they can pass onto someone who appreciates the numismatic and artistic value.

If you don’t need the money, but still find the coins interesting or intriguing, keep them around for a while and see how you feel in a few years. Perhaps another friend or family member will come along and take a greater interest. Maybe you will find yourself pulling out the box of coins and finding delight in them someday.

If you need the money, but love the coins, see if you can find other things to sell to prevent having to get rid of the coins. You may be able to even sell a few coins but keep the most valuable or your sentimental favorites for yourself. You don’t need to have a lot of coins to be a coin collector.

This leads to my next point:

Should I keep the coins I have inherited?

Do not feel pressured to keep coins that you have inherited. There are many reasons a coin could be special to a collector. Maybe it was the first coin they picked off the sidewalk, a gift from a friend, or a coin they spent lots of money on when times were tight. Just because a coin was special to someone else doesn’t mean it will be special to you.

I have dozens of coins in my collection with no value, but the way I acquired them was special to me. I am sure someday my kids will inherit my collection and be baffled trying to figure out why a damaged 1963 penny was in my collection. There is more value to some coins emotionally than there is monetarily, and no two people will have the same emotional connection to a coin.

Don’t get too caught up in the monetary value

Coin collecting is one big treasure hunt, and the thrill of finding a coin worth a lot of money does add to the excitement, but don’t let that idea distract you. Most coins are worth only a small to modest amount. The likelihood you will find a white whale coin and know how to identify it is slim.

Try to take pleasure in the smaller joys of coin collecting. The age of the coin, the weight in your hand, and the art on the coin are all non-value parts of the hobby collectors love. If you set your expectations too high on the value the coins could be worth, you may find yourself disappointed when the collection is only worth a few hundred dollars and cash it out before you get a chance to appreciate them.

How to get Kids Interested in Coin Collecting

Getting your children interested in coin collecting can be a great way to teach children art, history, and economics. It also provides a wholesome way for you to bond without screens. (Why have kids if not to force your hobbies and interests on them?)

If you are wondering how to get your children started as junior numismatists, I have come up with some fun ideas and tips below.

1.) Make it a Treasure Hunt

One of the things that draws adults to coin collecting is the idea that any common coin could be a treasure. Kids also delight in the idea that they could find a rare or valuable coin.

Coin roll hunting is a fantastic game to play with kids! Bringing a box of coins home from the bank and opening all the coin wrappers is fun for children who haven’t yet become interested in the coins themselves.

Probably the best way to get kids interested in coins, and what starts most young collectors, is collecting state quarters. When I was 9 years old, my grandfather got me a book on state quarters and that is what prompted my interest in coins. There are also National Park Quarters!

2.) Buy Your Kids Some Coins

The key word here is “buy”. Someday, your child will be able to appreciate how special it is to be given a coin from someone’s collection, but someone just getting started has no sense of that value. Take your child to a coin shop and let them pick a coin they like for themselves. It doesn’t need to be expensive, just so they can see more coins and get a sense of their own taste as a collector.

Many coin shops have bulk foreign bins as well as inexpensive pennies, buffalo nickels, and mercury dimes. Foreign coins are a great way to learn about other countries. As an added bonus, foreign coins look so different from our own that most people are instantly drawn to them.

3.) Teach Them About Silver/Gold Value

This is best for older children who have a concept of money and savings. Some people are more motivated by monetary gain than by art or history and that is okay. Many collectors find their way from collecting precious metals to collecting coins or from collecting coins to storing precious metals.

4.) Let Them Watch You

It may not always seem like it, but kids love to imitate their parents. You may not be able to encourage a kid to fall in love with coin collecting, but your own passion can be infectious. Talking about your coins in front of your kids, coin roll hunting, or organizing your collection are great ways to passively let children see the enjoyment in coin collecting.

5.) Try Other, Similar Hobbies

Some kids don’t have the patience for coin collecting. A more exciting hobby to try with your children is metal detecting. Metal detecting is great to get kids interested in numismatics because sooner or later they are likely to find a coin they have never seen and will want to learn more.

Exonumia, collecting tokens is another fun hobby for kids. Tokens usually have more fun patterns and styles, and they can find them at their local arcade. (Although arcades seem to be moving away from tokens.)

There is also metal detecting, but that may be tedious for younger kids. I have metal detected on beaches and had many kids come up and ask me what I am doing, and ask me if I found any buried treasure!

Metal detecting is expensive to get into, with most good metal detectors running between $200-$400. I would purchase one for your child if they show an interest, or if it something you think they would enjoy to do with you.

6.) Start Kids Young

I started my interest in coins when I was a kid by being exposed to coins. Coins were how I paid for ice cream and I would exchange coins for dollars with my dad to learn about money. As our economy switches to a more card based digital system, you can achieve the same interest with piggy banks, and even fake coins.

6.) Know Their Interest May Come and Go

Most coin collectors do not spend everyday thinking about their coins and collecting and neither will kids. A kid will likely be engrossed in the hobby for a few weeks before finding a new obsession and that is okay.

One thing to watch is that your child does not sell their collection on a whim.

Should You Buy Foreign Coins in Bulk?

Like any post with a title “Should you-” the answer is always: it depends!

Buying foreign coins in bulk sounds like a great idea, you get lots of coins for a relatively small amount or money. Bulk coin sets can run anywhere from $10-$30 per pound! (I would love to get that value of gold and silver.)

Now some people do great buying and selling foreign coins, since most people collect coins from their own country, they are less likely to recognize valuable or rare coins from other countries. Many people find silver or even gold coins in the foreign bins at their local coin shops because no one else recognizes them.

That being said, it is incredibly unlikely you are going to find such a rarety buying bulk foreign coins online. Most of the time, you will be overpaying dramatically for the conveniece of getting hundreds of coins shipped to you.

Let’s talk cons first.


1.) Shipping prices!!!

I have both bought and sold on eBay and other online sellers. The real profit killer is shipping (although eBay fees are not fun either). Most of your money spent on bulk coins is simply going to the shipping cost.

2.) 99% of coins will be worthless.

Now, you may find some coins that are interesting to you, but that does not mean they have much value outside of your house. The market for foreign coins is simply too small.

I love seeing foreign coins, I have some I collect, but if I tried to collect coins from every country, I simply would not have enough room in my house! Most coin collectors stick to coins from their own country, or at least a country that resonates with them. Those who collect foreign coins are rare, and usually they go for older foreign coins.

Even if you are very knowledgeable on foreign coins, it is still unlikely you will find anything valuable. Most bulk lots of coins online have already been cherry-picked for the most valuable coins.


1.) Lots of coins!


It is really exciting to get a lot of foreign coins! You can keep them in a jar as decoration, or spend time organizing and admiring the different designs.

2.) Great way to learn!

You can look through each one and do lots of research into the coins. It is a great way to learn about other cultures in different time periods.

Since you will get many coins from different countries you can take the time to catalogue them. Find the country of origin, face value, and numismatic value!

Where to buy foreign coins in bulk?

Many different places sell foreign coins in bulk. Ebay is probably the best place to go, as you get the competition from many different sellers.

If you aren’t comfortable buying on eBay, you can also buy bulk foreign coins on Amazon. It will probably be slightly more expensive than eBay, but Amazon is easier to use for many people.

If you are only interested in a different country or time period you can also search buy that specific time and area. While researching for this article I found a few fun niche listings.

Ancient Coins in Bulk

This could be a good way to get your hands on several coins if you are a beginner. Someday you will probably want to buy higher quality coins at better prices, but it is always fun to have a few coins to handle.

(Remember, handling coins is bad for them! Only do so with coins you do mind potentially damaging.)

Final Thoughts

I wouldn’t build a collection around buying bulk foreign coins, but it is a fun way to get your hands on a lot of coins.

Overall, I would saying buying foreign coins is best for beginners, or as gifts for kids. Since kids don’t usually have a great understanding of value, giving them a lot of coins that are interesting to them is a good way to introduce them to coin collecting.

Do you buy foreign coins in bulk? What is your best find yet?

Stop Buying Bulk Coins or Large Coin Sets as Gifts

For the love of god, do NOT buy bulk coins as a gift.

As someone who works at a bank and frequents banks, do not buy bulk coins for someone as a gift! More often than not, that set of 500 uncirculated 2004 nickels will sit in someone’s sock drawer for 3 years until they bring it to the bank to cash it in for much less than it was purchased for.

It may seem fun at first, giving someone dozens or hundreds of coins that you are sure will appreciate in value. I can assure you no matter how fun or neat it is to you, your gift receiver will not be so appreciative. No one wants to have a gift that takes up that much space!

A better option is to buy one or two meaningful (or valuable) items. I think buying silver for a non-collector is a good idea. It is something that takes up much less space than a box of 2,500 uncirculated 2009 pennies. The person is much more likely to hold on to it because of the sentimental value, dollar value, and lack of inconvenience it brings.

Plus, with silver, the receiver can go online and check the rough price easily when (or if) they do decide to get rid of it.

My one exception to this rule would be sets of coins of 50 or less that come in nice containers that you have reason to believe they would actually like. Even then, think carefully about how much space the gift will take in the person’s house. Someone living in a small apartment probably does not want your 12 half-filled Whitman coin folders.

When in doubt, buy a gift with a Certificate of Authenticity!

Not that the certificate of authenticity really has much meaning, but it does mean you are likely buying a single coin with some collector value. It will be easy for the person to price it on eBay or similar sites to find the worth.

If you want more numismatic gift giving ideas, you can check out:

Top 10 Best Gifts for Coin Collectors and What Makes Them Great!

(Thank you for listening to my rant!)