US coin collecting is one of the most competitive markets globally, which is no surprise given that the coins have some of the most interesting and iconic stories in the coin collecting world. US coins are in extremely high demand, especially in the UK where they rarely make it onto our shores.
As Americans celebrate their independence this week, I have picked out 5 of my favourite US coins to share with you.
The Flowing Hair Dollar
8 of the top 10 most expensive coins ever sold are American, with the Flowing Hair Dollar (1794-5) taking the top spot after it sold for an impressive $10,016,875. It’s thought that only 140 of these remarkable coins exist, so it is near on impossible to find one.
This coin was the first dollar coin ever issued by the United States Federal Government and featured an eagle and the bust of Liberty with flowing hair. It was minted in silver and its size and weight were based on the Spanish dollar, which was traded with regularly in the Americas.
The Morgan Dollar 1878-1921
The Silver Morgan Dollar has forever been associated with cowboys and outlaws. These coins could have been used for gambling by train robbers like Butch Cassidy or Jesse James. It’s even rumoured that cowboys would place them in their canteens to preserve water on long journeys.
The dollar drew its name from its designer “George T Morgan”, who created an effigy of Lady Liberty as a Goddess, and a reverse which included an eagle with outstretched wings. It’s said that less than 1 in 5 of these coins remain today, making them incredibly collectable and difficult to source.
‘No Cents’ Liberty Head Nickel 1883
The first design for the No Cents Nickel failed to include the denomination and instead it included the Roman Numeral ‘V’. As the coins were the same size as a $5 coin, swindlers seized the opportunity to gold plate these coins and pass them off as $5 coins. Within the year the US Mint added the denomination to the coin.
The Roosevelt Dime 1946-64
After the death of Franklin Roosevelt in 1945, the nation’s only four term president, his portrait was subsequently used on Dimes as a memorial.
During his presidency, Roosevelt founded ‘March of the Dimes’, a charity founded in response to polio epidemics. Roosevelt’s image was chosen for the Dime in honour of his work with the charity, and his own battle with polio. This coin was symbolic for a nation in mourning, and many people collected the coin from their change.
The Franklin Half Dollar 1948-1964
This was the first half dollar to feature the portrait of a non-president on American Coinage. The words ‘Liberty, in God we trust’ surround a portrait of Benjamin Franklin, with the Liberty Bell on the reverse. This was initially a controversial coin, and there were public concerns about the initials of the designer ‘JRS’ being a reference to Stalin and communism, as well as the small eagle placed next to the bell.
American coins give us some of the most interesting stories in history, and provide us with some of the most fascinating and collectable coins in the world. It’s no wonder that US coin collecting is becoming increasingly popular.
If you’re interested…
You can own a selection of America’s most fascinating and infamous coin issues with the Infamous US coins set. Click here to see the other coins and secure yours today>>>
When I think of Canada several things spring to mind: the iconic maple leaf, the caribou and beaver, ice hockey and Celine Dion, just to name a few. But at the top of my list is without a doubt the Royal Canadian Mint.
As one of the three ‘Royal’ Mints in the world – alongside The Royal Mint here in the UK and the Royal Australian Mint – they are known for their innovation and impressive minting techniques, resulting in some of the most magnificent issues I’ve ever seen.
So to celebrate Canada Day, I’ve rounded-up my top five favorite Canadian releases, each demonstrating why they are one of the most prestigious mints in the world. Believe me, some of these issues are truly incredible!
Take a look for yourself…
The R&D Security Test Token Set
It will come as no surprise to know that the Royal Canadian Mint is the market leader in numismatic security.
The R&D Test Token set offers us a glimpse at never-before-seen minting techniques which will shape our future coins, and are sure to impress even the most seasoned coin collectors.
Included are six specimen tokens with high-tech design elements showcasing fascinating examples of tri-metal technology and micro-text. What’s more, each token included in the set is a real life trial piece which has been used in laboratory testing. So each set is completely unique – no two will be the same! Click here to find out more >>
Lest We Forget Silver Helmet-Shaped Coin
This issue truly is one of a kind. The minting expertise required to strike such an impressive coin is astounding – I’ve never seen a coin like it.
Not only is it struck from the Mint’s signature .9999 Pure Silver, but it’s an incredible miniature replica of the steel Brodie helmets worn by British and Commonwealth forces during the First World War.
How the Mint achieved this result I will never know – it remains a closely guarded secret. There are even engraved cracks and markings you would find on an original helmet. The final antique finish gives an authentic distressed look, the fine detail is incredible. Click here to find out more >>
Pure Silver D-Day Coin
The first step in to battle takes incredible courage, and this year to mark the landmark 75th anniversary of D-Day the Royal Canadian Mint issued perhaps the most poignant D-Day commemorative yet.
This stunning issue perfectly captures the moment Canadian soldiers set foot on Juno Beach. It is expertly struck from a quarter ounce of .9999 Pure Silver – or “four nines Silver”, the purest grade available for which the Mint is known – and has an innovative reverse proof finish which replicates the texture of the sand. Click here to find out more >>
3D Monarch Caterpillar Coin
Some of nature’s most beautiful things come in small packages. And this remarkable issue is no different.
The Monarch Caterpillar Pure 1oz Silver Coin is a perfect combination of Italian craftsmanship and Canadian design. It features a stunning 3D Monarch Caterpillar handcrafted from Murano glass, poised upon the selectively coloured design of a swamp milkweed plant leaf.
The combined traditional engraving, colour and Murano glass creates a truly unforgettable piece. Click here to find out more >>
John Lennon Silver 1oz Coin
It’s hard to believe that just 50 years ago, John Lennon and Yoko Ono conducted their “Bed-in for Peace” protest against the Vietnam War and debuted the most famous anti-war anthem of all time – Give Peace a Chance.
It was a moment that has forever cemented a bond between John Lennon and Canada. A bond that is marked by the release of this limited edition John Lennon commemorative.
Using bespoke printing technology the coin features a photographic image of John and Yoko during their protest and is struck from 1oz Pure Silver to a mirror-like proof finish.
But that’s not all! There’s plenty of other fantastic coins that have been issued by the Royal Canadian Mint. You can take a look at the full range by clicking here >>
Despite ruling over 400 million people in an empire that covered almost a quarter of the world’s surface, Queen Victoria had never set foot in many of the countries that she ruled over.
For many of those people, the only way to catch a glimpse of their empress was by looking at the portraits on the coins that passed through their hands every day. These coins formed a vital connection between people, even though they may have lived on opposite sides of the world and experienced very different lives.
India became known as the Jewel in the Empire’s crown, and was so important to Victoria that she was awarded the title of the “Empress of India” in 1876. Although she never stepped foot in the subcontinent, the currency of India (the rupee) was minted with her portrait on from 1840, so people could recognise their empress despite living 4,500 miles away!
The rupee is one of the oldest currencies in the world, so to feature a British monarch for the first time was an important moment in numismatic history. The later portrait issued on rupees was similar to the Gothic Head effigy can be considered one of the most beautiful coins of the empire.
Another numismatic first took place in Australia in 1855, one more country that Victoria never visited (which is hardly surprising as it would have taken her almost two months to get there!). As the empire grew, so did the need for coins and the Royal Mint opened branches in Australia to mint sovereigns for the empire. In 1855 the first ever sovereign to be minted outside of the UK, the Sydney sovereign, was issued. It featured a portrait of Victoria that was based on the Young Head effigy, but with a sprig of banksia weaved through Victoria’s hair, giving the portrait a distinct Australian feel.
A number of Royal Mint branches were opened throughout Australia after the success of the Sydney sovereign. To identify the mint that sovereigns were produced in, mintmarks were added to the coins, with a small ‘P’ for Perth, and an ‘M’ for Melbourne. The sovereign became legal tender in the majority of British colonies in the 1860s, and its importance in British trade, and worldwide circulation earned it the title “the King of Coins”. By the final years of the British Empire, the sovereign was minted in four continents across the globe.
India and Australia weren’t the only countries that saw Victoria’s portrait. Her image also reached as far as Hong Kong, Ceylon, East Africa and New Zealand. In 1870 the first Canadian dollar with Victoria’s portrait was issued, taking Victoria’s image to a new side of the world for people to see.
Victoria never left Europe, but her portrait and image stood strong on coins around the world. Whilst she never stepped foot in many of the countries that she ruled over, that didn’t stop people recognising her image around the world. The coins that they used every day provided a link to the empire that they were a part of, despite the miles between them.
If you’re interested
You can now own a genuine Victorian Silver Rupee, minted over 4,500 miles away! Click here for more info>>>>