PCGS Graded Top 8 of 10 Most-Valuable U.S. Coins Sold in 2021


An incredible 8 of the top 10 most-valuable United States coins that crossed the auction block last year were graded by Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com).

1933 Double Eagle PCGS MS65
1933 Double Eagle PCGS MS65. This rarity sold in a Sotheby’s auction for $18,872,250.

Among these was the 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, a classic United States gold coin with only one specimen available for private ownership and that broke all barriers as the most-expensive coin to ever trade hands when it hammered for $18,872,250. In all, 17 of the top 25 most-valuable coins to sell in 2021 were graded by PCGS.

"It just goes to show that the best coins always end up in PCGS holders," asserts PCGS President Stephanie Sabin. "Year over year, the vast majority of the most valuable coins to hit the hammer at auction are in PCGS holders. This speaks to the trust and confidence collectors place in our consistent grading and ability to provide the maximum value, security, and liquidity for collectible coins."

Here’s a rundown on the top 25 U.S. coins sold in 2021 and prices realized (including buyer’s fees):

#1: 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, PCGS MS65 – Sotheby’s, $18,872,250
#2: 1787 $15 Wing Punch Brasher Doubloon, MS65 – Heritage Auctions, $9,360,000
#3: 1822 Capped Bust Half Eagle, PCGS AU50 – Stack’s Bowers Galleries, $8,400,000
#4: 1804 Draped Bust Dollar, PCGS PR68 – Stack’s Bowers Galleries, $7,680,000
#5: 1861 Paquet Reverse Double Eagle, PCGS MS67 – Heritage Auctions, $7,200,000
#6: 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar, PCGS MS66+ – Heritage Auctions, $6,600,000
#7: 1804 Draped Bust Eagle, PCGS PR65+DCAM – Heritage Auctions, $5,280,000
#8: 1907 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, PR68 – Heritage Auctions, $3,600,000
#9: 1792 J-1 Silver Center Cent, PCGS SP67BN – Heritage Auctions, $2,520,000
#10: 1854-S Liberty Half Eagle, PCGS XF45 – Heritage Auctions, $2,400,000
#11 (TIED): 1885 Trade Dollar, PCGS PR63+CAM – Heritage Auctions, $2,100,000
#11 (TIED): Brasher 1786 Lima-Style Brasher Doubloon, MS61 – Heritage Auctions, $2,100,000
#13: 1893-S Morgan Dollar, PCGS MS67 – GreatCollections, $2,086,875
#14: 1921 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle Satin Special Strike, PR64+ – Heritage Auctions, $2,010,000
#15: 1880 Coiled Hair Stella, PR67CAM – Heritage Auctions, $1,860,000
#16: 1797 Draped Bust Overton-101A Half Dollar, PCGS MS66 – Stack’s Bowers Galleries, $1,680,000
#17: 1870-CC Liberty Head Double Eagle, PCGS AU53 – Heritage Auctions, $1,620,000
#18: 1796 Draped Bust Quarter Eagle Stars, PCGS MS65 – Heritage Auctions, $1,380,000
#19: 1792 25 Cents J-13, AU58 – Heritage Auctions, $1,260,000
#20: 1776 Continental Dollar "CURRENCY" Silver, VF35 – Heritage Auctions, $1,140,000
#21: 1866 Liberty Seated Dollar No Motto, PCGS PR63+ – Heritage Auctions, $1,050,000
#22: 1794 Flowing Hair Overton 101A Half Dollar, PCGS MS64+ – Heritage Auctions, $870,000
#23: 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar, AU58 – Stack’s Bowers Galleries, $840,000
#24: 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar J-18, VF25 – Heritage Auctions, $840,000
#25: 1943-D Bronze Lincoln Cent, PCGS MS64BN – Heritage Auctions, $840,000

PCGS also makes an honorable mention to an unusual piece the company graded and that sold at auction for a staggering sum, the 2011 25BTC Casascius Bitcoin. This novel piece of exonumia serves as the physical representation of 25 Bitcoins and was graded PCGS MS67. It sold for $1,698,750 in a GreatCollections sale.

1822 Capped Bust Half Eagle, PCGS AU50
1822 Capped Bust Half Eagle, PCGS AU50. This rarity was auctioned by Stack’s Bowers Galleries for $8,400,000.

It should be noted that an astounding 22 U.S. coins surpassed the $1 million threshold in 2021 among the auction houses consulted for this year-end roundup of prices realized, and this confirms the robust strength of the coin market in 2021 despite a gyrating economy and persistent pandemic conditions.

For more information and images covering all of the top-selling coins of 2021, visit https://www.pcgs.com/top-selling-coins-2021. You can also view the top-selling PCGS coins of all time at https://www.pcgs.com/top-selling-coins-of-all-time.

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 48 million U.S. and world coins, medals, and tokens with a combined value of over $47 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.

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Why do people prefer PCGS grading for expensive coins?


I’m not sure.

Last edited 5 months ago by Rich
Rob S

I dont know about other’s reasons, and nothing specific to “expensive” coins, but in my case I was weighing the 2 “big guys” – NGC and PCGS (with ANACS being around longer, but 3rd on the list for whatever reason). NGC seems to have these opaque white core holders. Especially in the case of the silver Eagles, the round cut-out for the coin goes right up to the rim. Its not always the case tho. PCGS uses a more clear plastic, but ultimately this is also opaque-ish. But they dont always go right up to the rim, you can see… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Rob S

PCGS coined their slogan around this topic, i.e., PCGS’ slogan has been, “PCGS: The Standard for the Rare Coin Industry.