There are many ranges of interest among coin collectors. Some casually procure rare coins as a simple long-term investment, never even considering the story of the coin. Others get weak in the knees at the mere mention of a 1933 Gold Double Eagle. Unfortunately, the majority of numismatists, even the most fervent, will not ever even catch a glimpse of some of the ultra-rare coins in the world – but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream!
It wasn’t until 1989 that a rare coin nearly broke the million dollar mark. An 1804 silver dollar sold for $990,000, making national news. The first coin to break the million dollar barrier was the Eliasberg 1913 Liberty nickel, which fetched a whopping $1,485,000 in 1996, 7 years later. Once that million dollar threshold was crossed, it was open season for wealthy collectors.
In 1999, an incredible proof 68 1804 silver dollar sold for a monumental $4,140,000. Expectations after that continued to rise, leading to more private sales well over 5 million. The demand for ultra-rare coins continued increasing exponentially, which leads us to today. There have been three coins that have surpassed 7 million dollars – a 1794 silver dollar, a 1787 Brasher Doubloon, and a 1933 Saint Gaudens $20 gold coin.
It is expected that once a coin sells for more than 10 million, the floodgates will open once more, driving prices higher and higher. It is speculated that after these high priced transactions, that same 1804 silver dollar that nearly broke the million dollar mark in 1989, would likely fetch well over the asking price, adjusting for inflation.
The ultra-rare coin market is much like the fine art market, in that there is no definite set price, only what an earnest collector is willing to pay. As certain coins become increasingly scarce, there is no doubt that prices will skyrocket to heights that may surprise all of us. One of a kind items that can never be duplicated are worth as much as anyone is willing to pay. Intrinsic value has no bearing on collectables.
These days, it is far more common for ultra-rare coins to be sold in private transactions, rather than in auctions. The reasoning behind this is that unless a collector has been adamantly seeking out this coin, and is completely ready to pay any price, coming up with 7 million dollars on the spot can be difficult. Timing is an essential factor when it comes to selling these high priced items, and these transactions must be handled with finesse.
While owning one of these incredible pieces may not be in the cards for most of us, they are still incredibly fascinating, and worth learning about. Just because you may not ever own a Picasso painting doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy his art! Remember that the story is largely what makes coins desirable, and some of the most expensive coins cost what they due to the compelling nature in which they came to be.
If you are interested in learning more about rare coins investing or adding to your collection, talk to one of the friendly experts at Monaco. You will find that Monaco coins always meet the highest standards. Nothing is more important than trusting your source, whether you are interested in ultra-rare coins or a silver dollar.