Published on May 29th, 2014 | by Sally Wenham
Money Money Money…
Here at the Post Office Shop we are aware that there are a lot of ardent philatelists and numismatists out there who collect special stamps and coins of varying monetary and sentimental value. Indeed, there are some incredibly rare and valuable coins in circulation and we’d like to tell you about a few of them.
Britain’s Most Expensive Coin is the Edward VIII Gold Proof Sovereign, but how does that ‘count’ against rare coins across the world?
An Edward VIII Gold Proof Sovereign Coin recently sold at auction for £516,000 which is the record price for a British coin. There are a few reasons why this coin commanded such a high fee:
Firstly, it’s extremely rare! Edward’s father George V died on 20th January 1936 and as a result Edward became King. As is normal when there is any new monarch, the Royal Mint started work on new coins for the King’s reign. However, Edward abdicated the throne prematurely in order to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson. He renounced the throne less than one year after he had become King.
That’s not the only rarity about this coin either. Traditionally, whenever a new coin is created for a monarch their effigies face the opposite way to their predecessors. However Edward broke a 300 year old tradition by insisting that his also faced left, in order to view the parting in his hair.
Due to both of these factors, this coin is extremely valuable and therefore commands such a high resale value. But, how does that compare against other coins in the world?
The most expensive coin in the world to date is the 1794/1795 silver dollar. This was the first coin to be produced by United States Federal Mint which had been recently founded; it was also the first dollar issued by the US Federal Government. This 10% copper, 90% silver coin featured the bust of Liberty with flowing hair and this iconic image makes the coin worth substantially more than its original monetary value. In January 2013, one of these 1794 dollars sold for an incredible $10 million!
The World’s next most expensive coin is the 1933 US Double Eagle. This gold coin was pressed in 1933 however it never went into circulation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt barred anyone from owning gold at that time in an attempt to prevent a banking crisis in the US from destroying the economy. However, mysteriously twenty of these coins escaped the reclamation and are now commanding fees far in excess of their original $20 face value. In 2002 one of these coins was sold at Sotheby’s auctioneers for $7.6 million.
So when you think about it, the 1937 Edward VIII sovereign is just ‘small change’ compared to other coins out there. But it is still far more expensive than the range of coins we have available at the Post Office Shop that’s for sure!