Six Coins That Broke World Records

Six Coins That Broke World Records

Have you ever wondered about the world’s biggest coin? What about the most valuable coin? Well, wonder no more. Here’s a list of the world’s record-breaking coins, from small to large, and everything in between.

Smallest Coin
The matter of the world’s smallest coin is hotly disputed. Some numismatic experts in India claim that the half vellichakram holds the honor, but at a weighty .18 grams, it’s more than twice as big as the actual smallest coin in the world. The Guinness Book of World Records once named the one-fourth java of Nepal the world’s smallest coin. However, the official GWR Twitter account, @GWR, explains they “don't currently monitor a category for the smallest” in regards to coin records. Since the one-fourth java is actually the metal from the hole punched into the java coin, and it was never circulated, many dispute its title as the world’s smallest coin. Most numismatic experts around the world agree that the quarter silver tara of Vijayanagar is in fact the world’s smallest coin. At .06 grams, and .44 mm, this minuscule coin is much too tiny to be very practical.

Largest Coin
There’s no debate about the world’s largest coin. The 2,204-pound Gold Kangaroo coin from the Perth Mint in Australia holds that title by a wide margin. This massive coin beat out Canada’s 220-pound coin for the title in 2011. With a diameter of well over six and a half inches, and a thickness of over a foot, this coin was designed for bragging rights, not practical use.

Most Expensive Coin
The most ever spent on a coin was $10,016,875 on the 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar, which was sold at an auction in New York City in January of 2013. Considering that the Flowing Hair Dollar is one of the first dollar coins ever minted by the U.S. federal government, it’s easy to understand why this historical piece is so sought after. Legend has it that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington may have personally handled it.

Least Valuable Coin
When considering the world’s least valuable coin, exchange rates must be taken into account. And hyper-inflated currency isn’t considered. So what coin is the most worthless in the world? That dubious honor belongs to the Uzbekistan one tiyin coin, which as of last year was worth approximately 1/1200 of one U.S. cent. And you thought our penny was worthless!

Most Common Coin
Some people think the title of the most common coin of all time belongs to the copper one-cash coin from China. There are still millions of these ancient coins left today, so it’s likely that they were the most common coin in the world at one time. Today, however, there’s a new champion. The Lincoln cent has had a high mintage since its release in 1909. The initial mintage was 20,000,000 and it only grew from there, making the Lincoln cent the world’s most common coin.

Most Rare Coin
The world’s most rare coin is the first-ever U.S. 1849 Double Eagle. Only one has ever been confirmed to exist, though rumors of a second coin’s existence are frequently circulated. The coin was an experimental design, not intended as actual currency, which explains why so few were produced. The coin was struck in Philadelphia at the very beginning of the Gold Rush. You can find the first 1849 Double Eagle ever minted on display in the Smithsonian.

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