The Greatest 100 U.S. coins

No one individual can legitimately assemble this entire collection, but pretty close to it — with time, resources and patience-!!

 In 2005, Whitman Publishing published a very important piece of numismatic literature entitled “100 Greatest U.S. Coins.” This book is not only a useful guide for serious, affluent investors and collectors, it is also a wonderful journey into the field of numismatics. The coins listed, described and illustrated therein were voted on by an all-star cast of professional numismatists and long-time coin dealers. They were asked to rank the coins based on 6 significant criteria: rarity, value, quality, popularity, beauty and history. For each coin, the book provides exquisite photography, detailed histories and descriptions, and, most important for investors, price histories for each coin covering 1960, 1980 and 2005.

What this price history shows in total is quite astounding: the total value of the 100 coins in 1960 came to $842,250. By 1980, the value had climbed to $11,197,750. In 2005, the total value of the 100 greatest coins was estimated at $92,216,500!  Today, in late 2012, we have completed a study that conservatively estimates, with the assistance of PCGS, Collectors Universe and auction prices realized, this entire set is now estimated to be worth $142,700,000.

1. Silver Dollar – 1804 Draped Bust in proof  (Approximately 15 known – collectible)
2. Nickel – 1913 Liberty Head in proof  (5 known – collectible)
3. Double Eagle – 1933 $20 Saint-Gaudens business strike  (Several known but confiscated; only 1 legal to own – therefore presently unique)
4. Double Eagle – 1849 $20 Liberty in proof  (Unique – permanently impounded in the Smithsonian)
5. Double Eagle Pattern – 1907 $20 Saint-Gaudens Ultra High Relief in proof  (Approximately 16-18 traced – collectible)
6. Dime – 1894-S Barber head in proof  (9 known – collectible)
7. Eagle Pattern – 1907 $10 Indian head Ultra High Relief J-1776 in proof  (1 known – unique)
8. Cent – 1943 Lincoln head error in copper  (Approximately 12 known – collectible)
9. Half Eagle – 1822 $5 Capped Bust business strike  (3 traced – collectible)
10. Trade Dollar – 1885 Trade in proof  (5 minted – collectible)
11. Pattern Set – 1872 gold Amazon in proof  (1 set known – unique)
12. Silver Dollar – 1776 Continental business strike  (Many traced – collectible)
13. Quintuple Stella – 1877 $50 Half Union in proof  (Several traced – collectible)
14. Cent – 1909-S Lincoln VDB business strike  (Many traced – highly collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
15. Cent – 1793 Chain & Wreath variety business strike  (Many traced – collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
16. Twenty Cent – 1876-CC Seated business strike  (Several traced – collectible)
17. Double Eagle Pattern – 1907 $20 Saint-Gaudens Ultra High Relief (Small Diameter) in proof  (2 traced – collectible)
18. Half Disme Pattern – 1792 Flowing Hair business strike  (Many traced – collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
19. Half Dollar – 1838-O Capped Bust Reeded Edge in proof  (12 known – collectible)
20. Silver Dollar – 1794 Flowing Hair business strike  (Many traced – collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
21. Dime – 1870-S Seated Liberty business strike  (Unique)
22. Half Eagle – 1854-S Liberty head business strike  (3 known – collectible)
23. Cent – 1856 Flying Eagle in proof  (Many traced – highly collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
24. Dime – 1873-CC Seated Liberty no arrows at date business strike  (Unique)
25. Double Eagle – 1907 $20 Saint-Gaudens High Relief business strike  (Many traced – highly collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
26. Commemorative – 1915-S Panama-Pacific $50 gold octagonal business strike  (Many traced – collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
27. Commemorative – 1915-S Panama-Pacific $50 gold octagonal business strike  (Many traced – collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
28. Stella – 1879 & 1880 gold Flowing Hair and Coiled Type in proof  (Several traced – collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
29. Disme Pattern – 1792 Flowing Hair business strike  (Few traced – collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
30. Three Dollar – 1870-S gold business strike  (Unique)
31. Cent Pattern – 1792 silver centered business strike  (12 known – collectible)
32. Colonial – 1787 Fugio cent business strike  (Many traced – highly collectible)
33. Double Eagle – 1861 Liberty Paquet Reverse business strike  (2 known – collectible)
34. Cent Pattern – 1792 Birch business strike  (Few traced – collectible)
35. Pioneer – 1851-1852 US Assay or Humbert $50 gold business strike  (Many traced – collectible)
36. Half Eagle – 1815 $5 Capped Bust business strike  (12 traced – collectible)
37. Cent – 1793 Strawberry Leaf business strike  (4 known – collectible)
38. Half Eagle – 1798 $5 Small Eagle business strike  (8 known – collectible)
39. Eagle – 1844-O Liberty head in proof  (Unique)
40. Trade Dollar – 1884 Trade in proof  (10 minted – collectible)
41. Quarter – 1873-CC Seated Liberty no arrows at date business strike  (5 traced – collectible)
42. Gold Dollar – 1849-C Open Wreath business strike  (4 traced – collectible)
43. Eagle – 1838 Gobrecht Liberty head design in proof  (3 known – collectible)
44. Eagle – 1804 Draped Bust Plain 4 in proof  (4 known – collectible)
45. Quarter – 1866 Seated Liberty No Motto in proof  (Unique)
46. Half Dollar – 1866 Seated Liberty No Motto in proof  (Unique)
47. Silver Dollar – 1866 Seated Liberty No Motto in proof  (2 known – collectible)
48. Half Eagle – 1822 $5 Capped Bust in proof  (2 known – possibly permanently impounded)
49. Half Eagle – 1834 -1838 $5 Classic Head in proof  (12 traced – collectible)
50. Double Eagle – 1927-D $20 Saint-Gaudens business strike  (12 traced – collectible)
51. Half Eagle – 1829 $5 Capped Bust (Small & Large Planchet) business strike  (8 traced – collectible)
52. Eagle – 1907 $10 Indian head Rolled Edge business strike  (Several traced – collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
53. Eagle – 1933 $10 Indian head business strike  (Several traced – collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
54. Quarter Eagle – 1848 $2.50 Liberty Head with CAL. business strike  (Several traced – collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
55. Quarter – 1842 Seated Liberty Small Date in proof  (Several traced – collectible)
56. Quarter Pattern – 1792 struck in copper business strike  (2 known – collectible)
57. Half Dollar – 1817/4 Capped Bust business strike  (7 known – collectible)
58. Half Dollar – 1853-O Seated Liberty No Arrows business strike  (3 known – collectible)
59. Quarter – 1916 Standing Liberty business strike  (Many traced – highly collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
60. Silver Dollar – 1851-O Seated Liberty in proof  (Unique)
61. Half Dime- 1802 Draped Bust business strike  (Many traced – collectible)
62. Half Cent – 1796 Flowing Hair With Pole or No Pole variety business strike  (Many traced – collectible)
63. Eagle Pattern – 1874 Liberty Bickford design in proof  (2 traced – collectible)
64. Gold Dollar – 1861-D Type Three business strike  (Several traced – collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
65. Dime – 1916-D Mercury Head business strike  (Many traced – highly collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
66. Silver Dollar – 1895 Morgan Head in proof  (Many traced – highly collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
67. Quarter Eagle – 1796 $2.50 No Stars business strike  (Many traced – collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
68. Half Dollar – 1797 Draped Bust business strike  (Several traced – collectible)
69. Silver Dollar Pattern – 1836 to 1839 Gobrecht design Liberty in proof  (Many traced – highly collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
70. Eagle – 1795 Draped Bust 9 Leaves variety business strike  (Several traced – collectible)
71. Quarter – 1796 Draped Bust Small Eagle business strike  (Many traced – collectible)
72. Half Dollar – 1796 Draped Bust Small Eagle business strike  (Few  traced – collectible)
73. Gold Dollar – 1854 Small Indian Head in proof  (4 known – collectible)
74. Double Eagle – 1870-CC $20 Liberty business strike  (Several traced – collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
75. Assorted – Treasure from the S.S. Central America  (Many traced – collectible)
76. Cent – 1794 Starred Reverse business strike  (Few traced – collectible)
77. Two Cent – 1864 Small Motto in proof  (Many traced – collectible)
78. Nickel – 1867 Shield With Rays in proof  (25 minted – collectible)
79. Quarter – 1827 Capped Bust in proof  (10 known – collectible)
80. Silver Dollar – 1801, 1802, 1803 Draped Bust in proof  (Few traced – collectible)
81. Silver Dollar – 1851 Seated Liberty business strike  (Several traced – collectible)
82. Silver Dollar – 1852 Seated Liberty business strike  (Several traced – collectible)
83. Silver Dollar – 1893-S Morgan Head business strike  (Many traced – highly collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
84. Silver Dollar – 1870-S Seated Liberty business strike  (Few traced – collectible)
85. Quarter Eagle – 1804 Capped Bust 13 Stars business strike  (Few traced – collectible)
86. Quarter Eagle – 1841 $2.50 Liberty Head business & proof strikes  (Several traced – collectible)
87. Quarter Eagle – 1854-S $2.50 Liberty Head business strike  (10 known – collectible)
88. Quarter Eagle – 1863 $2.50 Liberty Head in proof  (12 known – collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
89. Half Eagle – 1797 $5 Small Eagle business strike  (Few traced – collectible)
90. Half Eagle – 1819 $5 Capped Bust business strike  (Several traced – collectible)
91. Half Eagle – 1825 $5 Capped Bust “5 over 4″ business strike  (2 known, 1 impounded – not collectible)
92. Half Eagle – 1832 $5 Capped Bust 12 Stars business strike  (6 known – collectible)
93. Half Eagle – 1875 $5 Liberty Head business strike  (8 known – collectible)
94. Eagle – 1798 $10 Draped Bust 9×4 & 7×6 Stars business strike  (Several traced – collectible)
95. Quarter Eagle – 1808 $2.50 Capped Bust business strike  (Many traced – collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
96. Eagle – 1875 $10 Liberty Head business strike  (7 or 8 known – collectible)
97. Double Eagle – 1854-O $20 Liberty business strike  (Several traced – collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
98. Double Eagle – 1856-O $20 Liberty business strike  (Several traced – collectible)
99. Double Eagle – 1861-S $20 Liberty Paquet Reverse business strike  (Many traced – collectible. One of the PCGS CU3000 Key Dates & Rarities index)
100. Quintuple Stella – 1879 $20 Liberty Head in proof  (Several traced – collectible)

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