Greg Reynolds of CoinWeek takes the opportunity of the 1794 Carter Silver Dollar breaking the world record for the amount paid for a coin at auction to reflect on the ten most expensive coins to ever come to auction. I'd never heard of some of these coins, and the story behind each is engaging reading.
For those who want the "Cliff Notes" version, here's the list:
|1||The "Carter" 1794 Specimen U.S. Silver Dollar||$10,016,875|
|2||The "Fenton/Farouk" 1933 U.S. Double Eagle||$7,590,020|
|3||The 105H (724AD) Islamic Umayyad Gold Dinar||$6.1 million|
|4||The Oman-Childs 1804 U.S. Silver Dollar||$4.14 million|
|5||The 1704 Russian Ivan VI Pattern Silver Rouble||$3,858,850|
|6||The Pantikapaion Gold Stater (350-300 BC)||$3,802,500|
|7 (tie)||The Olsen-Hawn 1913 U.S. Liberty Nickel||$3,737,500|
|7 (tie)||The Mickley-Hawn-Queller 1804 U.S. Silver Dollar||$3,737,500|
|9||The "Punch on Chest" Brasher Gold Doubloon (1787)||$2.99 million|
|10||The Trompeter-Morse Ultra High Relief 1907 Saint-Gauden Pattern Double Eagle||$2.76 million|
It is interesting to note that seven of the ten most valuable coins in the world are U.S. coins, and only two are ancient coins: the Umayyad Dinar as the most expensive Islamic coin, and the Pantikapaion Stater, the world's most expensive Greek coin.