Coins and banknotes market - 2013 auction review

Record figures were achieved at coin auctions across the world in 2013. US coins took the majority of the top spots this year, with the three top performing lots achieving figures of over $3m.

Top coins and banknotes sale of 2013

1794 silver dollar coin breaks world record, bringing $10m
The 1794 Flowing Hair dollar set a new world record for a coin at auction

  • In January 2013, a new coin auction world record was set by a 1794 Flowing Hair dollar - one of the first that the US government ever produced. It achieved a deeply impressive $10m, smashing the previous auction record of $7.9m by 26.5%. The extraordinary value of the coin is due to its enormous historic significance as the first coinage ever produced by the newly formed US Mint, combined with its phenomenal rarity. Just 125-130 are known to exist, with only a handful in near mint condition.

2013's important coins and banknotes sales

  • Sales of the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel are always hotly anticipated, and with just three examples of the legendary coin in circulation, it's not hard to understand why! Known as the Walton Specimen, it is one of just five examples, and made $3.2m back in April.
  • A 1796 quarter was one of the headline lots of the Eric P Newman collection when it sold for $1.5m in April.
  • It wasn't just US coins achieving record figures this year - a sale in April saw an early Australian Holey Dollar achieve $508,266 in Melbourne.
  • An 1804 silver dollar was another high profile lot, achieving $3.8m in August. One of just eight first class specimens exist, three of which are in the collections of major museums. 
    Walton 1913 Liberty Head Nickel auctions
    The five Liberty Head nickels were minted in 1913
  • The 1880 Coiled Hair Stella is one of the world's most sought after rarities, and one example set a new record for its type at Bonhams in September.

It was a breakout year for…

Government of Iraq 50 fils
The Iraq 50 fils note dates to 1944

It was a year to forget for…

  • The British Royal Mint's first £20 coin, which was issued in a run of 250,000. Featuring less than half of its face value in silver, it's highly unlikely that this will ever be a collectible.

One you may have missed…


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