On May 21, 1996, the Eliasberg specimen of the 1913 Liberty nickel sold at auction for $1,485,000, becoming the first United States coin to sell for more than a million dollars. Interestingly, a 1913 Liberty nickel was also the first United States coin to sell for $100,000 when Abe Kosoff sold the Olsen-Farouk-Hydeman specimen to John Hamrick of World-Wide Coin Investments for $100,000 in 1972.
Today, we estimate that there are 235 United States coins that have sold or would sell for $1,000,000 or more at auction. There are 101 individual coin issues and 235 individual coins that now make up the Million Dollar Coin Club. Our estimate for the total current value of these 235 United States coin rarities is $528,600,000!
Ultra rarities, the coins in the PCGS Million Dollar Coin Club, are usually purchased for two purposes. Some individuals collect a certain series of United States coins and their Million Dollar Coin Club coins are part of their collection. For example, if you collect proof Trade dollars, then an 1885 proof would be part of your collection needs. Other individuals may purchase a Million Dollar Coin Club coin “just to have it.” Several past owners of a 1913 Liberty nickel have stated that it was their childhood fantasy come true to own a 1913 Liberty nickel.
Compiling the PCGS Million Dollar Coin Club coin listings and prices was(is) a job for world-class coin experts who have specific expertise and experience with these ultra rarities. Five of the world’s top rare coin experts participated in the “formation” of the PCGS Million Dollar Coin Club.
For pricing of these ultra rarities we asked four specialists in top-quality United States coins and United States ultra rarities to give us their opinions of which coins would currently sell for one million dollars or more at auction and also their estimates of the price each coin would bring. We then averaged the price estimates and those averages are the prices you currently see here, on the PCGS CoinFacts website, and in the online PCGS Price Guide. Our experts had some disagreement on some of the prices, but their estimates, given without consulting one another, were for the most part very close to one another.