FOUND > Rare Coin Worth Millions

Everyone Thought it was a Forgery... Until

The 1854 San Francisco Half Eagle.

Updated May 10, 2018
By James Massey, What Sells Best News

NEW ENGLAND - Smithsonian reports, a $5 gold coin, long thought to be a fake by its owner, has been authenticated as real, and it's worth millions.

THE DISCOVERY

Reportedly, the 1854 coin, marked with a letter 'S' indicating it was from the San Francisco Mint, was long suspected to be a forgery, even by the owner. His suspicions were validated by the coin dealers he showed, who also believed it was fake.

However, things took a dramatic turn after he sent the coin to the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC). A leading grading and authentication service, with top marks among major coin dealers.

Story of the confirmation of authenticity of the coin by NGC.

They studied the coin and found it was real. In an NGC video (above) they say another example discovered in the 1940s, graded AU 55, has a $5 million valuation in the 2019 Red Book. Based on this recent coin's NGC grade of XF 45, the value has been reported by many, to be in the millions.

(Correction: In an earlier version of this story, the potential value of the coin was misstated as '$5 million' based on the higher-graded coin found in the 1940s. While this recent discovery is likely to be in 'the millions' it has not yet been assigned a definitive value.)

Exactly where the coin came from, is still a mystery. Because the owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, has not yet publicly disclosed where he found it. Let's keep our fingers crossed that he shares the story.

WHY IT'S RARE

The coin, known as a Half Eagle, was minted in 1854 during the California Gold Rush. Reportedly, for unknown reasons, only 268 of the coins were minted at the San Francisco Mint. Prior to this particular coins discovery, only three were known to still exist. Now there are four.

The Story of the California Gold Rush by the History Channel.

SALES INFORMATION

We don’t have any information regarding a sale of the coin in this story, at this time. Stay tuned!

RESEARCH COIN PRICES

FREE APPRAISALS

Small details can make a big difference in rare coin values. Often forgers will make fake duplicates of rare coins due to their high value. If you think you have something, head to our free appraisals page and check with several of the experts listed within the coin category.

However, before contacting appraisers, it's highly recommended that you research sold prices on your own first. Because this can give you a general understanding of current market values, and may help you find the best selling venue, if you decide to sell.

ACTIVE AUCTION PRICES

Another way to monitor the real-time price strength of more common gold coins, is to keep an eye on the highest bid items (below) in the Gold Bullion and Coin categories on eBay.


SEARCH > All San Francisco Gold Coins (Reset)

2010 $50 American Gold Buffalo lot of 6 coins PCGS MS70 FIRST STRIKE

Time Left: 1d 6h 32m
$7,600.00 with 72 bids


2017 W $50 GOLD American Eagle 1 Ounce lot of 6 coins PCGS PR70 DCAM

Time Left: 1d 13h 13m
$5,200.00 with 64 bids


4 Gold 1984 One Ounce Each Krugerrands

Time Left: 5d 11h 8m
$5,139.63 with 26 bids


4 Gold One Ounce Krugerrands

Time Left: 5d 11h 8m
$5,101.00 with 10 bids


Four (4) 1 Oz  $50 American Gold Eagle Coins -  all dated 2010

Time Left: 6d 10h 24m
$4,850.00 with 2 bids


RARE 1998 $25 Gold Eagle / Statue of Liberty PCGS MS70

Time Left: 11h 3m
$3,550.00 with 15 bids


1/10 Oz Gold South African Krugerrand - Random Year

Time Left: 1d 10h 10m
$2,999.00 with 2 bids


1988 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins Proof Set US Mint w/Box COA

Time Left: 9h 53m
$2,284.00 with 36 bids


$25 Gold AMERICAN Eagle - Rare KEY DATE 1991 NGC MS69 GORGEOUS COIN

Time Left: 2d 16h 6m
$2,134.00 with 16 bids


2017-W $50 American Gold Eagle Burnished PCGS SP70 First Strike

Time Left: 2d 16h 16m
$2,126.00 with 30 bids


1991 MCMXCI AMERICAN GOLD EAGLE $25 1/2 OZ NGC MS 69

Time Left: 2d 17h 14m
$2,125.00 with 12 bids


2011 $50 American Gold Buffalo lot of 6 coins NGC MS70 Early Releases

Time Left: 2d 13h 28m
$2,025.00 with 6 bids


1987 RARE OFFICIAL TEXAS BULLION SET, 1.85 OZ GOLD, 1 OZ SILVER

Time Left: 3d 12h 43m
$2,001.00 with 8 bids


1989 Gold Proof Sovereign 3 Coin Set 22ct Bullion Royal Mint 500th Anniversary

Time Left: 2d 9h 56m
$1,950.30 with 21 bids


2009 MMIX ULTRA HIGH RELIEF GOLD $20 DOUBLE EAGLE PCGS MS 70

Time Left: 2d 17h 12m
$1,936.88 with 8 bids


1947 Mexican Gold 50 Pesos BU

Time Left: 17h 19m
$1,550.00 with 23 bids


Rare 1 OUNCE NORFED 2006 LIBERTY $1000 GOLD Coin

Time Left: 2d 10h 59m
$1,550.00 with 1 bids


2018 China Gold Panda - 5-pc. Year Set - PCGS MS69 - First Strike

Time Left: 2d 16h 53m
$1,525.00 with 14 bids


1821-1947 1.33 TROY OUNCE Mexican-50-Pesos-Gold-Coin-37.5-Grams- ABSOLUTE-BEAUTY

Time Left: 2d 17h 6m
$1,510.00 with 3 bids


2013-W $50 NGC PF70 Proof Reverse Buffalo 24K 1 Oz Pure Gold

Time Left: 2d 14h 35m
$1,457.00 with 32 bids


2010 U.K commemorative anniversary Coin 22ct gold proof £5 Crown

Time Left: 2d 21h 42m
$1,438.02 with 57 bids


1987 MCMLXXXVII AMERICAN GOLD EAGLE $50 1 OZ NGC MS 70

Time Left: 2d 17h 17m
$1,401.00 with 29 bids


2007 Australia Gold 1 oz Lunar Year of the Pig $100 - NGC MS70

Time Left: 2d 17h 2m
$1,400.00 with 54 bids


2018 $50 American Gold Buffalo PCGS MS70 First Day of Issue - Blue Flag Label

Time Left: 1d 16h 5m
$1,389.00 with 5 bids


2018 $50 American Gold Buffalo PCGS MS70 First Day of Issue - Blue Flag Label

Time Left: 2d 16h 18m
$1,376.00 with 11 bids


2018 $50 American Gold Buffalo PCGS MS70 First Strike - Blue Flag Label

Time Left: 2d 16h 8m
$1,372.00 with 12 bids


2018 $50 American Gold Buffalo PCGS MS70 First Day of Issue - Blue Flag Label

Time Left: 3d 16h 10m
$1,359.00 with 4 bids


2009 MMIX ULTRA HIGH RELIEF GOLD $20 DOUBLE EAGLE PCGS MS 69

Time Left: 3d 17h 5m
$1,352.00 with 24 bids


1884-S $20 Liberty Gold Double Eagle Coin AU-58 PCGS NGC

Time Left: 2d 16h 46m
$1,351.00 with 26 bids


2018 P Australia Gold Lunar Year Dog 1 oz $100 - PCGS MS70 - First Day of Issue

Time Left: 2d 16h 51m
$1,350.00 with 10 bids


1894 $20 Gold Liberty Head Double Eagle Coin - Unc

Time Left: 3d 9h 18m
$1,332.00 with 11 bids


Gold 2000 $50 American Eagle Coin

Time Left: 5d 11h 7m
$1,325.61 with 15 bids


2010-w one ounce gold Buffalo PF70 cameo NGC certified

Time Left: 8h 1m
$1,325.00 with 9 bids


2015 1 oz $50 Gold Buffalo coin graded by PCGS MS70 First Strike,(Buffalo label)

Time Left: 1d 16h 5m
$1,325.00 with 9 bids


2011 $50 American Gold Buffalo PCGS MS70 - Black Diamond Label

Time Left: 4d 16h 8m
$1,325.00 with 5 bids


2018 $50 American Gold Buffalo PCGS MS70 First Day of Issue - Blue Flag Label

Time Left: 4d 16h 16m
$1,325.00 with 9 bids


2015 P Australia Gold Kangaroo 1 oz High Relief Proof $100 - NGC PF70 UCAM

Time Left: 2d 17h 4m
$1,319.00 with 10 bids


2018 $50 Gold Eagle PCGS MS70 First Strike - Bunting Label

Time Left: 2d 16h 8m
$1,305.00 with 15 bids


2001 Britain 1 oz Gold Britannia 82nd Struck PCGS MS67 Holder Scratches SKU51480

Time Left: 2d 18h 13m
$1,302.00 with 16 bids


1986 1 oz Gold American Eagle - Brilliant Uncirculated

Time Left: 2d 12h 2m
$1,299.00 with 9 bids


2016 $50 Gold Eagle PCGS MS70 - Reagan Legacy Series

Time Left: 2d 16h 9m
$1,280.00 with 11 bids


2013 $50 BUFFALO BULLION ONE OUNCE .9999 GOLD COIN

Time Left: 1d 8h 6m
$1,277.00 with 7 bids


FOUR 1/4oz gold eagles. One ounce total weight . Four 1/4 oz 1997 eagles

Time Left: 10h 4m
$1,275.00 with 4 bids


Canada 2004 1 oz. .9999 $50.00 Maple Leaf gold bullion coin Reverse Proof

Time Left: 17h 39m
$1,275.00 with 4 bids


1979 South African 1 oz Gold Krugerrand Coin

Time Left: 2d 16h 37m
$1,275.00 with 3 bids


2016 $50 Gold Eagle PCGS MS70 - Reagan Legacy Series

Time Left: 4d 16h 8m
$1,275.00 with 14 bids


1 oz Gold American Eagle BU - 2013

Time Left: 4d 14h 46m
$1,255.00 with 4 bids


$50 1 Oz. American Gold Eagle (Random Year) #1

Time Left: 4d 14h 9m
$1,253.01 with 34 bids


$50 1 Oz. American Gold Eagle (Random Year) #2

Time Left: 4d 14h 10m
$1,250.01 with 44 bids


$50 1 Oz. American Gold Eagle (Random Year) #3

Time Left: 4d 14h 10m
$1,250.01 with 34 bids


GOLD-COIN-1978-SOUTH-AFRICA-KRUGERRAND-GOLD-1-OUNCE GOLD-COIN BU

Time Left: 2d 17h 5m
$1,250.00 with 2 bids


1978-SOUTH-AFRICA-KRUGERRAND-GOLD-1-OUNCE GOLD-COIN BU

Time Left: 2d 17h 5m
$1,250.00 with 2 bids


1857 $100 Franc Emp. Napoleon III France GOLD COIN 120

Time Left: 1d 15h 37m
$1,225.00 with 11 bids


1907 100 Franc Angel of God France GOLD COIN .9334 108

Time Left: 1d 15h 38m
$1,225.00 with 31 bids


2018 $50 American Gold Buffalo PCGS MS70 First Day of Issue - Blue Flag Label

Time Left: 6d 16h 15m
$1,225.00 with 7 bids


Apmex 1 Oz Gold South African Krugerrand - Random Year

Time Left: 8d 9h 9m
$1,225.00 with 2 bids


1983 1 oz Gold South African Krugerrand

Time Left: 4d 16h 9m
$1,220.00 with 15 bids


1978 1 oz Gold South African Krugerrand

Time Left: 4d 16h 11m
$1,220.00 with 14 bids


1990-W $50 Dollar Gold  1 OZ  Gold Coin

Time Left: 5d 7h 20m
$1,220.00 with 4 bids


1895 $20 Gold Liberty Head Double Eagle 0.9675 oz

Time Left: 3d 16h 12m
$1,200.00 with 42 bids


American Buffalo Gold Coin 2015 **Great Condition**

Time Left: 6d 18h 10m
$1,200.00 with 1 bids


2014 1 oz Gold American Eagle - “ beautiful “

Time Left: 6d 18h 35m
$1,200.00 with 1 bids


1 OZ KRUGERRAND

Time Left: 1d 8h 20m
$1,195.00 with 3 bids


1975 South Africa 1 oz Proof Gold Krugerrand

Time Left: 1d 13h 19m
$1,125.00 with 3 bids


2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle 1 ounce Gold (Capsule Only)

Time Left: 2d 19h 6m
$1,125.00 with 9 bids


1984 1oz Gold Canadian Maple Leaf BU

Time Left: 8d 16h 56m
$1,125.00 with 27 bids


2015 Australia $100 Kangaroo BU

Time Left: 1d 16h 55m
$1,098.00 with 2 bids


USA 20$ 1904 NGC MS-63 Liberty Head

Time Left: 1h 45m
$1,096.07 with 22 bids


2018 China Gold Panda - 5-pc. Year Set - NGC MS70 Early Releases

Time Left: 2d 16h 55m
$1,025.00 with 11 bids


1900 $20 Gold Liberty Head Double Eagle - Unc

Time Left: 3d 8h 49m
$919.00 with 24 bids


AMERICAN BUFFALO GOLD COIN 1/2 oz 2008- W/ COA

Time Left: 4d 11h 23m
$800.00 with 2 bids


AMERICAN BUFFALO GOLD COIN 1/2 oz 2008-W ORIGINAL BOX COA

Time Left: 11h 4m
$777.77 with 16 bids


2009 W $10 1/2oz Gold NGC MS70 POTUS First Spouse Julia Tyler Coin GB2002

Time Left: 2d 19h 24m
$753.10 with 19 bids


2018 $25 Gold Eagle PCGS MS70 First Strike - Bunting Label

Time Left: 2d 16h 16m
$729.00 with 1 bids


2012 1/2 oz Gold American Eagle $25 Coin - NGC MS 70 - Early Releases Perfect 70

Time Left: 4d 15h 5m
$710.00 with 43 bids


1995 UNCIRCULATED 1/2 oz gold American Eagle $25 Coin *better date*

Time Left: 4d 12h 59m
$700.00 with 1 bids


2011 Isle of Man 1/2 oz 999 Pure Gold Noble PF-70 Ultra Cameo NGC Graded

Time Left: 7d 11h 48m
$700.00 with 1 bids


2009 W $10 1/2oz Gold Proof NGC PF70 UC POTUS Spouse Letitia Tyler Coin GB0021

Time Left: 2d 18h 18m
$699.00 with 13 bids


1989 P $25 PCGS PR 70 DCAM American Gold PROOF Eagle, 1/2 oz. Moy Signature Coin

Time Left: 2d 15h 48m
$675.00 with 58 bids


1993 AMERICAN GOLD EAGLE $25 1/2 OZ SIGNED BY KENNETH BRESSETT NGC MS 70

Time Left: 2d 17h 15m
$660.00 with 10 bids


1989 1/2 ounce $25 Twenty Five Dollar Gold American Eagle Proof Coin

Time Left: 2d 15h 53m
$645.01 with 25 bids


2014 1/2 oz $25 Gold American Eagle NGC MS70 Early Releases

Time Left: 2d 16h 5m
$635.00 with 15 bids


2005 $25 Gold Eagle PCGS MS69 20th Anniversary

Time Left: 2d 16h 10m
$626.00 with 9 bids


2003 Gold Eagle $25 PCGS MS69 - American Gold Eagle

Time Left: 2d 16h 51m
$621.00 with 4 bids


2014 1/2 oz Gold American Eagle $25 Coin - NGC MS 70 - Early Releases Perfect 70

Time Left: 4d 15h 15m
$620.00 with 10 bids


2011 1/2 oz Gold American Eagle $25 Coin - NGC MS 70 - Early Releases 25th ANNIV

Time Left: 4d 15h 20m
$620.00 with 18 bids


1988 MCMLXXXVIII AMERICAN GOLD EAGLE $25 1/2 OZ NGC MS 69

Time Left: 2d 17h 13m
$609.00 with 21 bids


1986 1/2 oz Gold American Eagle

Time Left: 2d 12h 8m
$606.00 with 26 bids


2013 1/2 oz Gold American Eagle $25 Coin - NGC MS 70 - Early Releases Perfect 70

Time Left: 4d 15h 11m
$606.00 with 32 bids


2006 $50 Dollar Gold American Buffalo (MS 69 PCGS) 1 OZ of .9999 Fine GOLD!!

Time Left: 6d 15h 22m
$605.00 with 9 bids


1995 AMERICAN GOLD EAGLE $25 1/2 OZ NGC MS 68

Time Left: 2d 17h 16m
$570.00 with 51 bids


2017 200 Yuan China Gold Panda Coin 15 Grams .999 Gold PCGS MS70 First Strike

Time Left: 2d 16h 19m
$568.05 with 17 bids


2007-W First Spouse (Abigail Adams) $10 Gold -- "Perfect" ICG MS70 -- NO RESERVE

Time Left: 5d 16h 23m
$565.00 with 37 bids


1986-W Gold Eagle G$50 NGC PF69 Ultra Cameo UCAM

Time Left: 6d 17h 14m
$565.00 with 3 bids


1907 $10 Liberty Coronet Gold Piece -- Mint

Time Left: 2d 4h 30m
$510.00 with 2 bids


PCGS MS-69 2006 1 oz Gold Buffalo FIRST STRIKE

Time Left: 6d 11h 47m
$510.00 with 9 bids


2007-W First Spouse (Martha Washington) $10 Gold -- ICG MS70 -- NO RESERVE

Time Left: 5d 16h 26m
$505.00 with 37 bids


1898 Liberty Head Gold Eagle $10 Ten Dollar 1/2 oz. Fine Gold Coin

Time Left: 8d 17h 9m
$470.00 with 10 bids


Lot Of 4 US $5 Gold Eagles 0.4 Ounces Gold

Time Left: 17h 56m
$465.00 with 6 bids


2010 Gold Eagle P$50 Early Release MS70 NGC

Time Left: 9d 5h 36m
$459.00 with 5 bids