Top 20 Auction Prices - U.S. Coins

by Mike Sherman
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PCGS

Here are the Top 20 Auction Prices Realized for United States coins. All the Top 20 have sold for over $1,000,000, and some have been sold as recently as 2014. Can you name all 20? Test your coin knowledge here.

PCGS
AUCTION: Stack's/Bowers
SALE DATE: August 9, 2012
GRADE AT SALE: PCGS MS65
CURRENT GRADE: PCGS MS65
SALE PRICE: $1,840,000
A unique item, this coin has the high distinction of being the last coin Eliasberg needed to complete his collection of U.S. coins. Previous owners included Edward Cogan, H.O. Granberg, Rudolph Kohler and Waldo Newcomer.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Heritage
SALE DATE: January 4, 2007
GRADE AT SALE: PCGS PR68
CURRENT GRADE: PCGS PR68
SALE PRICE: $1,840,000
Though strictly a pattern, the Ultra High Relief Saint Gaudens $20 has long captivated the imagination of numismatists. With fewer than 20 struck, an estimated 13-15 pieces survive today.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Superior
SALE DATE: March 1, 2001
GRADE AT SALE: NGC PR66
CURRENT GRADE: PCGS PR66
SALE PRICE: $1,840,000
Of the five known examples of this legendary rarity, this is the finest. It has the honor of being the one chosen by Eric P. Newman to keep after he bought all five (along with Burdette Johnson) from the estate of Col. Green. Later sold to Louis Eliasberg, it became the first coin to sell for over $1 million when the Eliasberg Collection was auctioned by Bowers and Merena in 1996.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Stack's
SALE DATE: October 18, 2000
GRADE AT SALE: PCGS PR64
CURRENT GRADE: PCGS PR64
SALE PRICE: $1,840,000
Along with the 1913 Liberty Nickel, the 1804 Silver Dollar ranks at the top of anyone's list of great U.S. Coin rarities. This is the Dexter-Dunham example, owned later by Harold Bareford.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Heritage
SALE DATE: November 3, 2005
GRADE AT SALE: PCGS MS67
CURRENT GRADE: PCGS MS67
SALE PRICE: $1,897,500
Despite an original mintage of 180,000, nearly all were melted leaving only about a dozen pieces left. Given the popularity of the Saint Gaudens Double Eagle, the high prices realized by this issue come as no surprise.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Heritage
SALE DATE: January 9, 2014
GRADE AT SALE: NGC MS66
CURRENT GRADE: PCGS MS65+
SALE PRICE: $1,997,500
Another example of this ultra rarity, this one from the collection of Dr. Steven Duckor.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Heritage
SALE DATE: January 2, 2011
GRADE AT SALE: NGC PR67 Satin
CURRENT GRADE: NGC PR67 Satin
SALE PRICE: $2,185,000
While not as famous a rarity as most of the others on this list, this magnificent fully struck satin finish proof belonged to Mint Director Frank Leach and is considered among the most important individual specimens in 20th century American numismatics. While it is estimated that around 50 pieces were struck, only one other has any claims to Proof status, and this piece is clearly the finest known of the two.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Heritage
SALE DATE: April 30, 2009
GRADE AT SALE: PCGS PR58
CURRENT GRADE: PCGS PR58
SALE PRICE: $2,300,000
Like most great rarities, the list of past owners reads like a who's who of numismatics. Previous owners of this coin include Captain John Haseltine, Waldo Newcomer, Col. Edward H.R. Green, F.C.C. Boyd, and Amon G. Carter Sr.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Heritage
SALE DATE: January 12, 2005
GRADE AT SALE: NGC AU55
CURRENT GRADE: NGC AU55
SALE PRICE: $2,415,000
The first of three Brasher Doubloons on this list, this one's pedigree goes back to the great 19th century collections of Edward Cogan, John McCory, J.N.T. Levick, W. Elliot Woodward, George Seavey and Lorin G. Parmelee. During the 20th century, owners included Virgil Brand, F.C.C. Boyd, and Yale University.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Bonham's
SALE DATE: September 23, 2013
GRADE AT SALE: NGC PR67CAM
CURRENT GRADE: NGC PR67CAM
SALE PRICE: $2,574,000
Of the four different Stella issues, this is the rarest with only 8 known examples. This one, likely the finest of the eight.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Stack's/Bowers
SALE DATE: June 29, 2012
GRADE AT SALE: PCGS PR69
CURRENT GRADE: PCGS PR69
SALE PRICE: $2,760,000
Part of the 'Million Dollar Set' of 1907 coinage, originally owned by famed St. Gaudens Double Eagle collector Captain Andrew North. This lettered edge variety was discovered by James Halperin of New England Rare Coin Galleries and sold in 1980 to famous proof gold collector Ed Trompeter.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Heritage
SALE DATE: November 3, 2005
GRADE AT SALE: PCGS PR69
CURRENT GRADE: PCGS PR69
SALE PRICE: $2,990,000
The same as the previous coin, though bringing a bit more in this earlier sale.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Heritage
SALE DATE: January 12, 2005
GRADE AT SALE: NGC XF45
CURRENT GRADE: PCGS AU50
SALE PRICE: $2,990,000
The most famous and valuable colonial issue, the Bushnell-Garrett example is the only one known with the EB Punch on the breast of the eagle. All other known examples show the EB punch on the wing.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Heritage
SALE DATE: April 25, 2013
GRADE AT SALE: PCGS PR63
CURRENT GRADE: PCGS PR63
SALE PRICE: $3,172,500
The famous fifth speciman, believed to have been lost in a 1962 car crash that claimed the life of the owner, George O. Walton. Rediscovered at the 2003 ANA where it was authenticated by representatives of PCGS.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Heritage
SALE DATE: January 9, 2014
GRADE AT SALE: NGC PR64
CURRENT GRADE: NGC PR64
SALE PRICE: $3,290,000
Featured on the Hawaii Five-O TV series in 1974 in an episode entitled 'The $100,000 Nickel.' Probably the second finest of the five known pieces. Extensively pedigreed to some of the finest collections of the 20th century, including Olsen, B. Max Mehl, Edwin Hydeman, Jerry Buss and Reed Hawn. This was the first U.S. coin to sell for $100,000 when sold by Abe Kosoff to Worldwide in October 1972.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Heritage
SALE DATE: January 7, 2010
GRADE AT SALE: NGC PR64
CURRENT GRADE: NGC PR64
SALE PRICE: $3,737,500
The same coin seen in the last slide, though sold four years earlier. In a rare circumstance, the coin realized slightly more in this previous sale.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Heritage
SALE DATE: April 17, 2008
GRADE AT SALE: NGC PR62
CURRENT GRADE: PCGS PR62
SALE PRICE: $3,737,500
From the great Mickley Collection, passing through the great collectors and dealers of the 19th century including W. Elliot Woodward, William Lilliendahl, Edward Cogan and William Appleton to the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1905. Later sold by Stack's to Reed Hawn, and later David Queller.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Heritage
SALE DATE: August 9, 2013
GRADE AT SALE: PCGS PR62
CURRENT GRADE: PCGS PR62
SALE PRICE: $3,877,500
The same coin as previous, sold five years later, though this time in a PCGS holder.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Bowers & Merena
SALE DATE: August 30, 1999
GRADE AT SALE: PCGS PR68
CURRENT GRADE: PCGS PR68
SALE PRICE: $4,140,000
The finest of the eight Class I Originals known. Formerly the property of the Sultan of Muscat. This was the first coin to sell for over $4,000,000, as well as the first to break $3,000,000 and $2,000,000!

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Heritage
SALE DATE: January 9, 2014
GRADE AT SALE: NGC MS63
CURRENT GRADE: NGC MS63
SALE PRICE: $4,582,500
Originally from the Newlin and Davis Collections, purchased by Virgil Brand from the Ten Eyck Collection in 1922. Also purchased by Walter Perschke in 1979 for the then unheard of price of $430,000. One of seven known examples.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Sotheby's/Stack's
SALE DATE: July 1, 2002
GRADE AT SALE: Raw Gem BU
CURRENT GRADE: Raw Gem BU
SALE PRICE: $7,590,020
Declared legal to own by the U.S. Government in 2001, this coin was sold the following year in a single lot auction held in New York City. Believed to have come from the 'Palace Collection' of King Farouk of Egypt, sold in 1954. Although at least a dozen others are known, this remains the only example that can be legally held.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS
AUCTION: Stack's/Bowers
SALE DATE: January 24, 2013
GRADE AT SALE: PCGS SP66
CURRENT GRADE: PCGS SP66
SALE PRICE: $10,016,875
This fabulous coin traces its pedigree back to the legendary Virgil Brand Collection, sold in 1945 by James Kelly. Later owned by Amon G. Carter. Believed by some to be the first Silver Dollar stuck by the United States.

See detailed information on this coin on CoinFacts.

PCGS

There you have it - Top 20 Auction Prices - U.S. Coins. More than 20, actually, due to some ties on the auction results. Are you surprised? While the auction results speak for themselves, there is still room for discussion as to whether all of these coins merit their place. What do you think? Comment below.

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