Exploring the Most Valuable Coins to Collect: A Look at the World’s Most Expensive Coins


Collecting coins has become a popular pastime for many, with rare and uncommon quarters being particularly sought after. With a unique history and
background, these coins have become increasingly valuable over time. This article provides information on the value of old coins, as well as exploring the reasons why they are so rare today.

1. 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln Cent

In 1909, the United States issued a new design to commemorate the 100th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The public quickly embraced the new currency, which replaced the Indian Head design.

Charles Barber, Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, objected to the development of the 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln Cent. After producing 484,000 of the new coins, the Mint removed the initials from the reverse side of the coin, making it instantly rare.


The 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln Cent is highly sought-after by coin collectors, and its value and reputation have endured over time. This penny is one of the most sought-after coins in terms of monetary worth, and many collectors strive to own it.

When seeking an asset-grade MS-65 RD, look for a coin with a rich, deep bronze color indicative of its age. Ensure the coin is free of flaws and has a pleasing appearance. Avoid coins that have been chemically dipped, as this will diminish their radiance.

2. 1921 Peace Dollar

The 1921 Peace Dollar, designed by Anthony DeFrancisci, is highly sought after by coin collectors. This coin was first minted in December 1921, alongside significant quantities of 1921 Morgan silver coins from the US Mint.

Proposed by Farran Zerbe, past President of the American Numismatic Association from 1908 to 1910, the concept of commemorating peace following the “Great War” was realized in 1921 with the release of the Peace Dollar.


The 1921 Peace dollar coins featured a high relief, necessitating a more laborious production process due to the depth of the die recesses, which inhibited the metal from completely filling them. This, in turn, necessitated a greater level of detail on the coins.

The US Mint struck the 1921 Peace Dollar on December 26, despite having limited time to create them due to a delayed start. The public responded enthusiastically, purchasing over a million coins. Despite this, the 1921 Peace Dollar remains a rare coin, with circulated copies still fetching a reasonable price from dealers.

Optimal Collecting Grade: MS-63

Optimal Investment Grade: MS-65

3. 1878-CC Morgan Silver Dollar

The 1878-CC Morgan Dollar, designed by engraver George T. Morgan, is a highly sought-after collectible coin. Its creation was mandated by the Bland-Allison Act, which required the US government to purchase large quantities of silver for the production of currency. Initially intended as a half
dollar pattern, the Morgan Dollar has since become a treasured item among numismatists.

In order to comply with the Bland-Allison Act, the United States factory had to reallocate its resources to the production of silver coins, resulting in the alteration and adjustment of the silver dollar.


The 1878-CC Morgan silver dollar is neither a critical date nor an uncommon coin, with an estimated mintage of 2 million coins produced in Carson City. Circulating pieces are reasonably priced, making them an affordable option for beginning collectors. Uncirculated coins are also available, though collectors should take care to ensure authenticity.

Optimal Collecting Grade: MS-63

Optimal Investment Grade: MS-65 DMPL

4. 1914-D Lincoln Cent

The 1914-D Lincoln cent may have a higher mintage than the 1909-S VDB, but it is much less common to find at coin exhibitions, particularly in uncirculated condition. Even more scarce are examples graded as Mint State.

The Lincoln cent has been a cornerstone series for new collectors, despite its initial minting with a limited money supply. This series has propelled millions of individuals into the coin collecting profession.


Lincoln coins are highly sought-after by currency traders, and their value has remained consistent over time, making them particularly attractive to experienced collectors. When selecting a circulating piece, it is important to be mindful of its condition; look for a coin that is evenly toned
and free of any dents or scratches.

Optimal Collecting Grade: EF-40

Optimal Investment Grade: MS-63

5. 1955/55 Doubled Die Lincoln Cent

Collectors covet the 1955 Doubled Die Lincoln Cent, a rare coin with an error that has not diminished its desirability. Undeniably, the 1955/55 Doubled Die Lincoln Cent is the most renowned mistake coin ever produced by the US Mint.

The US Mint conducted a thorough investigation into the origins of the misprinted coin. Upon discovering that approximately 20,000-24,000 coins had already been circulated, it was determined that burning the entire batch would not be cost-effective.


The 1955/55 Doubled Die Lincoln Cent was quickly removed from circulation upon its discovery, with local coin businesses swiftly purchasing them for their collections. Uncirculated and Near Uncirculated specimens of this error coin can be acquired in abundance.

This coin is one of the most frequently counterfeited on the market, with many of these high-quality forgeries originating from China. Therefore, it is essential to exercise caution when purchasing from eBay or any other vendor. The most reliable way to invest in coins is to establish a relationship with a reputable coin dealer.

Optimal Collecting Grade: MS-62BN

Optimal Investment Grade: MS-65RB

6. 1937-D 3 Legged Buffalo Nickel

The 1937-D Three-Legged Buffalo nickel is a highly sought-after error coin among collectors.

The government sought to extend the lifespan of dies by polishing them, and the mint worker then proceeded to crush the die’s surface until the features of the Buffalo on the reverse were no longer visible.

The 1937-D 3-Legged Buffalo nickel has become the most sought-after variety in the series. This error coin was created when the dies clashed, and the mint worker attempted to forcefully remove the damage. This minting mistake has become a popular collectible among hobbyists.


The 1955 Doubled Die Lincoln cent quickly gained the attention of coin collectors, while the Buffalo Nickel was not as widely sought after. Despite this, many Buffalo Nickel collectors still wish to add one to their collection. Circulated samples are reasonably priced, while uncirculated specimens are rare and only accessible to those with deep pockets.

Coin collectors should exercise caution when purchasing 1937-D Buffalo Nickels, as unscrupulous dealers may have removed the front leg. To verify the authenticity of the coin, collectors should inspect the area where the leg was previously located for any signs of polishing or marking. If it is evident that the leg has been removed, the coin should not be purchased.

Optimal Collecting Grade: EF-40

Optimal Investment Grade: MS-63

7. 1916-D Mercury Dime

The 1916-D Mercury Dime is highly sought after by collectors, as it was part of the “American Renaissance of American Coinage” in 1916. Despite its name, the coin does not depict the Roman god Mercury, but rather the “Winged Liberty Head Dime.”

The rarity of this penny is often underestimated; it is scarce in all grades, with only a few examples available in the circulating category. For collectors, the most desirable specimens are those from the Gem grades, which are particularly hard to come by.


In 1916, the Denver Mint produced approximately 264,000 Mercury Dimes, which quickly became highly sought-after due to their novel design. As a result, only the most experienced numismatists are able to acquire one of these coins for their collection.

The 1916-D Mercury dime is one of the most widely counterfeited coins of the twentieth century, and retailers and wholesalers should exercise caution when acquiring raw specimens. Many of these counterfeits are genuine 1916 Philadelphia Mercury dimes with an added D mintmark.

Optimal Collecting Grade: F-12

Optimal Investment Grade: AU-58

8. 1917 Standing Liberty Quarter: Type 1

The 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter is exceptionally rare and valuable due to its small mintage. Subsequently, the 1917 edition of the coin became a
more affordable version of a traditional United States coin.

Hermon A. MacNeil is credited with the design of this Dollar. His initial concept featured an empty Liberty, with her breasts exposed and covered in a metallic coat instead of the flowing fabric that was used for the rest of her gown.


In 1917, the reverse design was revised, with three of the thirteen stars relocated to the periphery beneath the majestic eagle. Beginning in 1925, mint personnel concealed the dates on the coins to guard them from corrosion.

The 1917 Standing Liberty Quarter: Type 1, which is easily obtained by coin collectors, reveals Lady Liberty’s left breast, suggesting that the United States was prepared to enter World War I in 1917. This is evidenced by the coat of chain mail, which symbolizes Lady Liberty’s readiness for combat.

Optimal Collecting Grade: MS-65

Optimal Investment Grade: MS-67FH

9. 1932-D Washington Quarter

The 1932-D Washington Quarter was issued as a one-year commemorative to mark the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth. Production of the
coin ceased in 1933 due to the Great Depression, but it was permanently accepted by the government in 1934 and is now considered a rare and valuable coin.


Millions of Washington quarters have been minted since 1932, with a total of four types produced by the Mint factory: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, and West Point. While commercial striking is becoming increasingly sought after, the rare cameo-proof coins from 1950 to 1964 remain highly desirable.

The 1932-D Washington quarter has a smaller mintage than the 1932-S, making it more difficult to collect. Consequently, it is likely to be more highly valued than its San Francisco counterpart.

Optimal Collecting Grade: AU-53

Optimal Investment Grade: MS-64

10. 1908 St. Gaudens Arabic Numerals No Motto

In 1907, the United States Mint issued the 1908 St. Gaudens Arabic Numerals No Motto coins in super duper relief. However, the intricate design proved difficult to strike accurately.

In 1908, the United States Mint’s engravers decreased the relief, thus facilitating the expeditious production of coins. The $20 gold Saint-Gaudens coin is widely considered to be the most aesthetically pleasing coin ever produced by the United States Mint.


The “No Motto” style of Saint Gauden’s design became recognized after the phrase “In God We Trust” was removed from coins in 1864. This phrase had
debuted on coins earlier that year, and was subsequently required by law to appear on all U.S. coins.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ original design for the coin did not include the slogan “IN GOD WE TRUST.” However, at the end of 1908, the design was altered to incorporate the motto on the reverse side. The “No Motto” coin is affordably priced for a gold piece. This style was improved by replacing the cumbersome Roman numerals with the more familiar Arabic numerals.

Optimal Collecting Grade: MS-66

Optimal Investment Grade: MS-67

The article has highlighted the top 10 coins worth collecting in the world. These coins were produced with a specific purpose and audience in mind, and their rarity and value today is due to their limited quantities.

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