The world’s most valuable coin was sold by Sotheby’s in June 2021 for nearly $19 million
The 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, which broke an all-time record in June 2021 as the most expensive coin ever traded in public auction, was recently encapsulated by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). This comes after PCGS graded the coin MS65 just prior to its sale at a Sotheby’s auction on June 8, 2021, for $18,872,250 USD – almost double the previous record set by a 1794 silver dollar graded by PCGS that sold for $10 million in 2013.
“It’s a career highlight,” says PCGS President Brett Charville. “We are absolutely thrilled to holder the 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. We certified the coin MS65 just before it sold and now the new buyer wants to protect the unique rarity in our industry-leading, tamper-evident holder to ensure the security of the coin and maximize its value.”
The coin was submitted by GreatCollections Coin Auctions, one of the world’s leading auction houses for certified rare coins and banknotes. The Orange County, California firm plans to display the rarity at the upcoming ANA World’s Fair of Money in Chicago, Illinois, on behalf of the anonymous owner.
GreatCollections president Ian Russell spoke of the submission to PCGS.
“We have likely submitted 500,000+ coins to PCGS over the past 10 years, but the standalone highlight was this 1933 $20. It is the pinnacle of numismatics, and we are grateful to the owner for entrusting it with us.
“The coin has an amazing history,” added Russell, “dating back to the 1933 executive order that banned virtually all private ownership of gold coins in the United States and effectively took the nation off the gold standard. But this specimen slipped through the cracks and was purchased by King Farouk of Egypt, one of the biggest coin collectors in the 1930s. After Farouk was overthrown in 1952, the coin disappeared for more than 40 years until surfacing in the mid-1990s; it first set the all-time world record price for a coin in 2002, when it realized $7.59 million.”
Russell, whose firm GreatCollections handles over $100 million in rare coins each year, notes that the 1933 Saint-Gaudens is one of those elusive coins that may go decades between appearances at auction.
“The current owner of the rarity set a goal back in 2002 to own the coin one day, and 19 years later, his dream came true. Although it’s difficult to predict the future, I think it will be many years before this coin appears on the market again.”
John Albanese, who cofounded PCGS in 1986 and as a longtime dealer regularly handles encapsulated rare coins, says the eye appeal of the 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle is magnificent.
“The strike and surfaces of this example are above par. It’s simply a beautiful coin.”
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About Professional Coin Grading Service
Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) is a third-party coin and banknote grading company that was launched in 1986. Over 35 years, PCGS has examined and certified more than 47 million U.S. and world coins, medals, and tokens with a combined value of over $46 billion. For more information about PCGS products and services, including how to submit your coins for authentication and grading, please visit www.PCGS.com or call PCGS Customer Service at (800) 447-8848.
About GreatCollections Coin Auctions
GreatCollections is an auction house for certified coins and banknotes, handling transactions from start to finish. Since its founding in 2010, GreatCollections has successfully auctioned over 950,000 certified coins, making it one of the leading certified coin companies in the United States. Ian Russell, owner/president of GreatCollections, is a member of the prestigious Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) and a member of the National Auctioneers Association. For more information about GreatCollections, visit www.greatcollections.com or call (800) 442-6467.