Most Valuable Coin Collections
There are a variety of reasons why you might want to collect coins, whether you’re looking to invest the coins for long-term profit or simply want to keep them for the unique history that they have. Around the world, you’ll find a number of famous collections worth checking out if you love coins and want to learn more about them. Where are these collections and how did they become so valuable and well-known, drawing in both serious coin enthusiasts and novices? Read on to learn about some of the most valuable coin collections in the world.
The National Numismatic Collection
Located at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., the National Numismatic Collection (NNC) features 1.6 million monetary items to enjoy. The collection is the largest collection of objects of numismatic value in North America and is considered by many to be the largest collection in the world. This diverse collection contains coinage from every continent, including money from 3,000 years ago. The NNC grew from just over a thousand coins to now over 20,000 coins specific to the U.S. alone.
Attracting numerous aficionados eager to dive into the history of the coins, the collection contains rarities like the 1849 $20 Gold Double Eagle, which some experts would say is the most valuable coin in the world, known to be worth over $22 million. Another popular item is the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel, a five-cent piece considered to be one of the most coveted rarities in the country, with only five thought to be in existence. Two 1933 $20 gold Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles and all three types of 1804 silver dollars are also on display to be admired.
Originally started in 1923 by the U.S. Mint, the NNC added the Josiah Lilly collection of gold coins in 1968, making a fine addition to its U.S. Mint Cabinet Collection, which began in 1838. Besides coins, the NNC lets visitors explore ancient forms of money, decorations, tokens, financial documents, printing plates, and much more.
The Collection of King Farouk
King Farouk I of Egypt lived an extravagant life and ruled Egypt from 1936 through 1952, amassing one of the largest and most valuable coin collections in the world. During the 1940s, it was rumored that coin dealers would sell King Farouk thousands of dollars in coins. His vast, impressive collection included thousands of gold coins, numerous U.S. coins, the famed 1913 Liberty Head nickels, and more.
One of his most famed pieces included a complete set of $20 gold Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles, which included the renowned and rare 1933 issue that the U.S. government thought to be stolen. The item ended up disappearing, but it eventually resurfaced and was auctioned off. King Farouk’s holdings have been located from all around the world, including in a number of other famous collections. Remnants can still be explored today. For history buffs and collectors alike, the Farouk Collection is certainly worth taking a deeper look at.
The Eliasberg Collection
Louis Eliasberg was a Baltimore businessman known for collecting coins, beginning in the 1920s up until his death in 1976. He’s particularly famous for being the first and only collector to complete a collection of circulating U.S. coins by denomination, date, and mint. Rather than concentrating on collecting coins due to their rarity, Eliasberg focused on collecting every type of U.S. coin in circulation.
His extensive collection includes subtypes of the 1873 Liberty Seated dime, a 1913 Liberty Head Nickel, an 1804 silver dollar, the 1873-CC no-arrows Liberty Seated Dime, and an 1870s three dollar gold piece. He also has a 1933 gold $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, one of the few known pieces. Thought to be worth nearly $60 million, his collection is one of the most valuable and impressive in both North America and the world.
The American Numismatic Association (ANA) Coin Collection
Originally founded in 1891, the American Numismatic Association (ANA)’s Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado, includes over 250,000 objects showcasing the history of numismatics from the invention of money through the modern era. The museum is most well-known for its Harry W. Bass Collection, containing the most complete collection of U.S. gold coins, paper money, and experimental coin patterns. Numerous coins in the collection are both rare and valuable, including a few that are truly one of a kind.
With true coin experts on staff, visitors can learn all about the unique coins on display, such as the 1804 silver dollar. Besides the vast collection of coinage, the museum’s collection includes plenty of revolving exhibits showing how money has functioned throughout history. In addition, it boasts the largest numismatic lending library in the world, with over 128,000 books, auction catalogs, periodicals, and other written materials full of information about valuable coins.
The John J. Ford Jr. Collection
John J. Ford was a well-known coin dealer and collector who got his start in numismatics from an early age. Over his lifetime, he amassed a collection of over 11,000 rare numismatic objects, including coins from the colonial era, western U.S. gold, tokens, and more. He was also known for collecting pioneer and territorial gold and other obsolete currencies. His collection was valued at $56 million, making it one of the most valuable coin collections in the U.S.
The Tyrant Collection
Widely considered to be the most valuable private coin collection currently in existence, the Tyrant Collection comprises coins featuring well-known historical tyrants of the last 2,000 years, including one for each of the major civilizations that issued coinage. “The Tyrants of the Thames” section is the most valuable collection of privately owned English coins and includes a number of rarities besides the renowned and highly sought-after Edward VIII coinage.
Find Valuable Coins in Las Vegas
If you’re interested in buying or selling your own valuable coins, you’ll want to check out Las Vegas Jewelry and Coin Buyers. We’re the premier rare coin buyer in the Las Vegas area and will make sure you get a great price, whether you’re interested in selling a complete collection or a single collector coin. What did you think of our list of some of the most valuable coin collections? Did we leave your favorite collection off the list? We’d love it if you got in touch and let us know.
Image via Flickr by Joe Hunt
Tags: Coin Collections