(October 1, 2012) - When a person thinks about rare coins, they are often focused on its value, but there are several other reasons why these coins are prized among collectors. In fact, gold coins from the Greek and Roman empires are considered by academics to be among the finest and most relevant works of art from those time periods. For the first time ever, a collection of 500 coins, many of them gold or silver coins from thousands of years ago, will be on display at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. According to a recent article in Art Daily, this is the only gallery dedicated to coins at a major art museum within the United States. The new Michael C. Ruettgers Gallery for Ancient Coins was funded by the man himself who also gave of his own collection, including such rarities as the Roman Aureus coin which shows Aelius Verus, minted in 137 AD.
(September 26, 2012) - Millions of people around the world are fans of rare coins, and despite the way that global economies may be dragging, the market for these incredible pieces of history continues to be strong. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, in the United States alone the annual sales are around $5 billion and people are still buying coins of all kinds regardless of the economic pressures being faced today. This means that when ten exceptionally sought after gold coins were seized by the federal government earlier this year, the news was worthy of making headlines across the nation. These particular coins were from the 1930's and from a time when all gold coins were to be melted down into gold bars by order of the government. The government took the coins' owners to court, the relatives of a coin dealer that had owned them, and won.
The value of these rare coins likely attributed to the government's zeal, noted the WSJ stating, "If the $20 'Double Eagle' coins ever went on the market, they would fetch millions each. One that had passed through the collection of King Farouk of Egypt sold in 2002 at Sotheby's for $7.6 million."
(September 14, 2012) - Well known Heritage Auctions has reported a record smashing sale of gold coins including one coin from the Roman Empire circa 218 AD. This particular coin was very rare because it featured Emperor Macrinus, an emperor of Rome who served for only a little more than a year before being executed. The gold Aureus was valued at $40,000 and ended up selling for more than $200,000 by the time the gavel fell. The report from Coin World said the entire auction saw total sales exceed $1.5 million, making it a star event for the Long Beach Coin and Collectibles Expo where it was held earlier this month.
Collectors love a unique, valuable coin. When we start to look at some of the most valuable specimens out there today, a natural place to start is the 1804 Class I Silver Dollar. Even though it is not made of gold, specimens have certainly sold for much larger figures than many others minted with the yellow metal. What makes this particular coin so exotic among valuable coins is partially its design as well as the class it is in. In 2010, a specimen now held by the Queller collection sold for over $3.7 million, which places it among the world's most expensive coins.
The 1804 Class I Silver Dollar, despite the date the coin bears, was actually minted in 1834. There are 8 of those coins known to be in existence. Another version other than the Queller collection mentioned earlier does exist. It is in better condition and is the 4th most valuable coin in the world, making it worth more than many other gold coins known today. This specimen was once owned by the King of Siam and was sold in 2001, among other coins, fetching over $4 million.