11 Most Valuable Foreign Coins: From Europe to Africa
When the value of money exceeds its printed or minted price, you know its rarity has overtaken the value of the object. The most valuable foreign coins (non-U.S.) in the world have a sought-out history that rewinds hundreds of years – and most often it is that history that drives interest.
While the United States has several coins that are worth massive amounts of money, some foreign coins from around the world have equal and even greater value. Many of the most valuable coins tend to be historical from before many of us were born, but that is not always the case. The rarity depends heavily on the purpose of the coin and how many were created.
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11. 2011 Scotland Edinburgh City £1 Coin (England), $50
If you have visited the UK in the 21st century, you might want to check your cupboards for this coin. Created in 2010 and issued primarily in 2011, the Scotland Edinburgh City Coin has already been declared as one of the rarest coins of the 21st century.
It is one of the only £1 coins that have less than one million coins in circulation. With a coin that was issued just ten years ago, you can get over 50 times the returns on this coin. Coins in excellent condition can also sell for up to £90 while the others can sell at £50.
10. 10,000 Yuan, 10th Anniversary Of Panda, China, $200,000
The 10,000 Yuan coin commemorates the 10th Anniversary of the first Panda coin issued by the People’s Bank of China in 1982. The design features a giant panda holding a bamboo stick on the front. On the back, there is a group of pandas playing and relaxing in a bamboo forest.
Pandas have been long associated with China and are considered a national treasure. They were once considered to be endangered, and the Chinese government made efforts to protect and conserve their population.
Overall, the 10,000 Yuan coin is a symbol of China’s efforts to protect its natural heritage, native animals, and cultural treasures.
9. Sestertius of Hadrian (Ancient Roman), $1.65 Million
Introduced back in 211 BC, the sestertius was a small silver coin that was issued only on rare occasions. The series of coins launched by Hadrian was the first to have a representation of the Britannia.
King Charles II later brought this feature back into the United Kingdom coinage. However, after a cease in production during the 4th century, these coins became rare and of historical importance.
The coin was last sold in December 2008 at a price of $1.65 million.
8. 100 ducats of Sigismund III Vasa (Polish), $2.16 Million
Between the 16th and 17th centuries, there was a prolonged war between the Polish and Ottoman armies. Even though there was no clear winner, the Polish lost comparatively lesser soldiers during the period and were effective in stopping the expansion of Islam into Christian countries.
To celebrate the victory, the then king Sigismund III announced the minting of 100-ducats gold coins. The coin was recently sold in January 2018 for $2.16 million. The date 1621 is punched on the coins with a picture of the King embossed on one side.
7. Silver Ruble Pattern, Russia, $2.64 million
The Silver Ruble Pattern coin, also known as the 1895 Nicholas II Coronation Ruble, was a special coin issued by the Russian government in 1896 to mark the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II.
The coin was designed by the famous Russian artist Yevgeny Lansere and featured an image of Nicholas II with St. George slaying a dragon on the reverse side. It was made of 90% silver, which contributes to its value.
Only a limited number of these coins were produced, with estimates ranging from 200 to 1,000 pieces, making it extremely rare and valuable. The coin was never intended for circulation and was distributed primarily to members of the royal family and government officials.
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6. Athenian Decadrachm (Greece), $2.92 Million
Minted in around 430 BCE, the Athenian Decadrachm was a comparatively widely circulated coin but has a significant history attached to it.
The coin displays a phase of prosperity for the Greeks. One side of the coin displayed the Greek goddess Athena while the other side displayed her symbolic companion owl. It was after the issuance of these coins that the Greeks witnessed victories in the Persian Wars.
These coins are currently valued at $2.92 million with the most recent sale in 2012.
5. Single 9 Pond (South Africa), $4 Million
This 1898 Single 9 Pond coin is one of the rarest coins of South Africa. Even after being relatively unknown around the world, this coin was sold for $4 million in May 2010.
When new coins were re-ordered to be made, the Boer government thought of using old coins and punched the number 9 over old coins to reflect the year 1899.
However, when they realized that the coin was too small, the process soon came to an end. Thus, this made it one of the only coins of this kind.
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4. 2007 $1 Million Coin, $4.1 Million
When you find a coin, which is specially made to be unique and one of a kind, it has to become one of the rarest and most valuable coins. With a diameter of 21 inches and a weight of 200 pounds, this coin is one of the largest and heaviest in the world. The depiction of Queen Elizabeth on the coin has earned it a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
While the coin has a face value of $1 million, the 99.99% pure gold inflated its value to $4.1 million in a 2010 auction. And since then the value of gold has only gone upwards, so it could be worth even more today.
3. Servilius Caepio (M. Junius) Brutus AV Aureus (Ancient Roman), $4.17 Million
With just four coins of its kind, one of which was found recently in a private collection and sold for $4.17 million.
The other two coins are with the British Museum and the fourth is in a Deutsche Bundesbank collection.
The coin commemorates the death of Julius Caesar, with his best-known assassin Brutus on one side and daggers on the other. Due to the significant history of the coin, its value will inevitably increase.
2. Ummayad Dinar (Middle-East), $5 Million
The Ummayad Dinar ranges back to 723 AD and is possibly the rarest coin in the world (and one of the most expensive coins to ever be sold at auction). With an inscription of “Mine of the Commander of the Faithful” on the face of the coin, this is one of the only coins of this kind:
(And only a dozen of these coins still exist).
Back in 2011, the value of this foreign coin reached a massive £3.7-million at auction. Another one of these coins was also sold in 2019, reaching a similar value of £3.72 million (around $5 million dollars at the time).
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1. Edward III Florin (England), $6.8 Million
A 677-year-old coin that circulated in Medieval England for over a year in 1343 is now considered one of the rarest coins in the world.
The value of the coin is mainly derived from its history. With a total of three coins of its kind, there are two displayed in the British Museum while the third was found in 2006 and then sold in the same year.
A coin that had the face value of only six shillings in the 14th century is today valued at $6.8 million.
Indeed, investing in coins will always be a lucrative return. From anniversary to commemorative coins, these were made with various purposes across the world. Whether truly historical or only produced for a short period of time, these coins are the most valuable foreign coins that you can find. And the value is only going to rise based on inflation and the price of natural materials. Which one would you choose to invest in?