Rare Coins

Rare Coins Definition: Technically, "rare" means very few examples are known (e.g. no more than 75 to earn that designation on the Sheldon Rarity Scale), but with these coins becoming not affordable for the general collection coins with much higher mintages are becoming "rare coin investments".
Rarity of the coin has a huge affect on rare coin value. There are some rare coins with a value of more than $1,000,000 and there are some common coins with the face value or little value.

Most of the time, the rare coins are the once, which can appreciate in value dramatically over some time and these are the once collectors seek the most. You can read more on the Value of Rare Coins on our Coin Values page.

Rare Coin

Rare Coins Prices

Rare coins prices depend on a lot of factors and we will discuss some of them here:

1) Coin Grading: Value of rare coins depends a lot on the coin grading. Usually, even a difference in 1 grade makes coins 2-3 times more expensive.

2) Mintage or how rare the coin is also affects the value. Coins minted in low mintages would have a better value in the series. Even if 2 coins look and grade identical and only differ in 1 year, the coin with the lower mintage for the year will have higher value.

3) Coin Market: - Demand and Supply for coins creating a coin market, where value of the coin would be influenced by a lot of political and economical factors. For ex: Some of the rare old coins from Eastern Europe would cost very little only, because there is a little demand and people can't afford to have the luxury of collecting coins. NOTE: We can see that this is changing now and some coins from Eastern Europe, especially Russian coins have a huge opportunity to increase in value and already started to become expensive even for serious investors.

4) Rare Silver Coins and Rare Gold Coins - There is an increasing demand in rare coins made from precious metals, such as silver and gold. The value of these rare coins grown dramatically in last years affected by increase in commodity prices and high demand. Refer to Silver Coins page and Gold Coins page for more information about rare silver coins, rare gold coins and rare gold coins value.

5) Error Coins - Some collectors specialize in so-called error coins. These are the coins that have been minted in error or with some unintended mistake in design. Prices of error coins vary considerably, and are based on denomination, date (if the date is visible), how significant the error, error type, how scarce the error is, and the dealer's demeanor.

NOTE: Be aware that values of error coins have been stable and steady over the decades. This is not an investment hobby, but an enjoyable and educational experience, and a good illustration of our imperfect world.

Please refer to the Coin Values page for more information about rare coin value and rare coin prices.


This article by Eduardo De Resendes briefly summarizes the main advantages of investing in rare coins and offers some guidelines to prospective rare coin investors.

The following summarizes some of the main advantages of rare coin investments.

1) Rare coins have historically protected or preserved wealth as strong inflation fighters, particularly in countries whose paper currency has been severely weakened. Any time our paper money is threatened, rare coins can protect wealth much like an investment in gold bullion.

2) Rare coins are selling at steep discount to their 1980's highs and, given the cyclical nature of the rare coin market, may be poised for rapid price appreciation in the near future.

3) The beauty of rare coins can be enjoyed much like any other work of art. They are also a very private form of investment not subject to government scrutiny common to other types of investments held in banks and by brokerage houses.

4) Rare coins are easy to store and are virtually indestructible. They are also insurable. Rare coins represent truly portable wealth which can be moved from place to place very quickly and easily.

5) With thousands of coin dealers around, selling most quality rare coins is quite easy making them a fairly liquid investment.

If you are interested to collect rare coins, read more at A Companion to Rare Coin Collecting

Rare Coins News
Rare gold coin worth £250,000 found in boy’s 'toy' treasure chest
A rare gold coin given to a little boy by his grandfather now worth an estimated £250,000 is set to be sold at auction. The Queen Anne 'Vigo' five guinea gold coin, one of Britain’s rarest coins, will be sold by Essex auctioneers Boningtons next month. more info

How much is the 1983 ‘new pence’ 2p coin worth and how can you tell if you’ve got one?
IF your purse is feeling weighed down with coppers, you may well be carrying around a goldmine. A rare batch of 2p coins are fetching some pretty serious cash on eBay – with several on sale for more than £1,500. People are coining it in with certain 2p ... more info

Boy’s Pirate Chest Yields Extremely Rare British Gold Coin
One of only 15 known, Queen Anne ‘Vigo’ 5-guinea coin will be auctioned Nov. 16 in Greater London, with $240K-$300K estimate The coin is one of only 20 that were made from the 7.5lbs of gold the British seized from Spanish treasure ships in Vigo Bay ... more info

Granddad's rare gold coin goes on auction
More than a year after car safety seats for children became compulsory, South Africans continue to put their young ones at risk. A bomb blast at a guesthouse in northeast Kenya killed at least 12 people on Tuesday, in an attack claimed by Shabaab militants ... more info

Bellevue Rare Coins Foundation Donates Car Seats to Westside Baby
Each year during Child Safety Awareness Week (September 18-24) WestSide Baby, a local non-profit in the Greater Seattle Area, helps raise funding and donations for local families who cannot afford to purchase car seats, along with other items, for their ... more info

Slumping precious metals prices affecting the rare coin market
Among the highlights of Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Nov. 3 Rarities Night auction at the Whitman Expo is this colorful 1918 Illinois Centennial half dollar graded Mint State 68 by PCGS. Images courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries. The rare coin market ... more info