by | Dec 12, 2023 | Numismatics, Resources

Unveiling the Top 5 Rare Coins Every Collector Dreams Of – A Numismatic Odyssey  Part 1

by Samantha Stevens

Numismatic Researcher At Scarsdale Coin


Welcome, fellow numismatists and coin aficionados, to a riveting exploration of the most coveted treasures in the world of rare coins. In this SEO-friendly blog post, we’ll delve into the allure of the top 5 rare coins that command the attention and admiration of collectors worldwide. Join us on this numismatic odyssey as we uncover the stories behind these elusive gems and reveal why they are the crown jewels of many distinguished collections.

1. The 1933 Double Eagle – A Legendary Icon of Numismatics

Our journey begins with the iconic 1933 Double Eagle, a rare gold coin shrouded in mystery and historical significance. Explore the captivating tale of this coin’s creation during the Great Depression and its subsequent disappearance from circulation. Learn why the surviving specimens are so highly sought after by collectors and investors alike.

The 1933 Double Eagle is a famous and highly valuable gold coin that was minted by the United States Mint in 1933. It features a design by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, depicting Lady Liberty holding a torch and an olive branch. The reverse side features a majestic eagle in flight.

The Double Eagle was originally intended for use in international trade, particularly in transactions with European countries. However, the production of gold coins for circulation was halted in 1933 during the Great Depression, as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s efforts to stabilize the economy. The Gold Reserve Act of 1934 made it illegal for private individuals to own gold coins, and most of the Double Eagles produced in 1933 were ordered to be melted down.

A few of the 1933 Double Eagles, however, managed to escape destruction. Some were legitimately released before the order to halt gold coin production, and a handful ended up in the hands of collectors. One notable case involves a group of 20 Double Eagles that were sent to the Smithsonian Institution for preservation. These coins were deemed legal to own, and in 2002, the U.S. government agreed to auction one of them.

The 1933 Double Eagle gained further notoriety when, in 2002, one of these coins set a record for the highest price ever paid for a coin at public auction. The coin was sold for over $7 million, and its sale sparked legal battles between the buyer, the U.S. government, and the heirs of a Philadelphia jeweler who had originally acquired the coin.

In 2003, a compromise was reached, and the U.S. government agreed to allow the 1933 Double Eagle to be privately owned under certain conditions. One coin was eventually sold at a Sotheby’s auction in 2002, and it remains one of the most sought-after and valuable coins in the world. The unique history and rarity of the 1933 Double Eagle contribute to its status as a numismatic treasure.

Jonathan Lerner Revised

Jon Lerner

Jon Lerner, Scarsdale Coin president, is a recognized expert in the numismatist field. Jon has spent over 30 years collecting and evaluating coins. He is often sought out by fellow coin collectors for his advice and knowledge of rare coins.


These guys are tops, experts to the experts. Trust them when buying or selling!

- John Maben


Scarsdale Coin

Jon Lerner, a renowned figure in numismatics, discovered his passion for rare coins in his Scarsdale, New York upbringing. With a keen eye for quality, he founded Scarsdale Coin in 1985, quickly establishing it as a premier destination for collectors. Beyond dealing, Jon is a respected speaker and prolific writer, sharing his expertise with enthusiasts worldwide. His commitment to integrity and professionalism has earned him admiration throughout the numismatic community. Jon remains dedicated to enriching collectors' experiences and preserving the legacy of rare coins for future generations.