Coins Through Time: 10 Monumental Milestones in US Coin Collecting

1933 Double Eagle Sale (2002)

The 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, a coin that was never officially released, sold at auction for $7.59 million in 2002, setting a record for the highest price ever paid for a coin at that time.

Discovery of the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel (1919)

The 1913 Liberty Head Nickel, one of the most famous and coveted coins in U.S. numismatics, was first revealed to the collecting community, with only five known specimens existing.

Introduction of the State Quarters Program (1999)

The 50 State Quarters program began, revolutionizing coin collecting by issuing quarters with designs representing each state, encouraging a new generation of collectors.

Sale of the Brasher Doubloon (1979)

The Brasher Doubloon, the first gold coin struck in the U.S., achieved a then-record sale price, highlighting the coin's rarity and historical significance.

Inception of the Certified Coin Grading Services (1986)

The establishment of third-party grading services like PCGS and NGC transformed coin collecting by providing standardized grading, increasing buyer and seller confidence.

Release of the Silver American Eagle (1986)

The U.S. Mint introduced the Silver American Eagle, a bullion coin that quickly became one of the most popular silver coins for collectors and investors alike.

America the Beautiful Quarters Program Launch (2010)

Following the success of the State Quarters, the America the Beautiful Quarters program was launched, featuring national parks and sites, further engaging collectors.

Discovery of the Saddle Ridge Hoard (2013)

The discovery of over 1,400 gold coins from the 19th century in California highlighted the ongoing potential for significant finds in coin collecting.

First Coin to Reach $10 Million at Auction (2013)

A 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar sold for over $10 million, setting a new record for the most expensive coin ever sold at auction.

Introduction of the National Numismatic Collection (NNC) Online (21st Century)

The Smithsonian Institution's National Numismatic Collection, one of the largest coin collections in the world, began digitizing its collection, making it accessible to collectors worldwide.