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)

Lot of 6 - 2017 W $50 gold Eagle NGC PF70 UCAM First Day Issue Washington DC

Time Left: 10h 45m
$7,200.69 with 6 bids


4 Gold 1984 One Ounce Each Krugerrands

Time Left: 3d 10h 56m
$5,020.00 with 6 bids


4 Gold 1984 One Ounce Each Krugerrands

Time Left: 3d 10h 55m
$5,013.69 with 5 bids


2016 Gold American Eagle & Silver Eagle Set PCGS MS 70 Augustus Saint Gaudens

Time Left: 5h 45m
$2,785.00 with 1 bids


2014-P $200 Australia 2oz. Gold Kangaroo PCGS PR-70 DCAM First Strike

Time Left: 16h 54m
$2,520.00 with 2 bids


American Eagle 2018 One Ounce Palladium Proof Coin In Original Box NO RESERVE!

Time Left: 13h 1m
$2,401.00 with 18 bids


2 American Buffalo $50 Gold Coins ~ 2016 ~ Brilliant Uncirculated

Time Left: 14h 58m
$2,377.00 with 5 bids


2009 United Kingdom 22ct gold proof Britannia 4 coin set

Time Left: 6h 44m
$2,366.81 with 32 bids


2018 China Gold Panda - 5-pc. Year Set - PCGS MS70 - First Strike

Time Left: 16h 9m
$2,340.00 with 22 bids


1996-W American Eagle Gold Bullion 4 Coin Proof Set & Box & COA. Hard To Fine

Time Left: 1d 13h 52m
$2,249.69 with 23 bids


1998-W 4-Coin Proof Gold American Eagle Set (w/Box & COA) ( Rare )

Time Left: 1d 14h 3m
$2,224.00 with 25 bids


Lot of 6 - 2017-W $50 gold Eagle PCGS PR70 DCAM Moy signature First Day of Issue

Time Left: 1d 10h 56m
$2,085.00 with 105 bids


17 Foreign Gold Coins, Mexico Pesos

Time Left: 3d 10h 58m
$2,055.00 with 21 bids


2012 Koala 2 OZ Gold Coin

Time Left: 6d 6h 52m
$2,025.00 with 2 bids


2008-W 4-Coin Gold Buffalo Set MS-70 PCGS

Time Left: 2d 12h 1m
$1,800.00 with 33 bids


2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin PCGS MS70

Time Left: 4d 7h 2m
$1,600.10 with 4 bids


Mexican 50 pesos Gold Coin 1821-1947 1.2057 t.oz actual fine gold 41.7 gms

Time Left: 2d 10h 42m
$1,525.00 with 13 bids


1947 Mexican Gold 50 Pesos BU

Time Left: 12h 40m
$1,500.00 with 1 bids


1821-1947 MEXICO GOLD 50 PESOS COIN 37.5 GRAMS 1.21 TROY OZ BULLION TOT WT41.6gr

Time Left: 1d 14h 33m
$1,500.00 with 17 bids


1821-1947 MEXICO GOLD 50 PESOS COIN 37.5 GRAMS 1.21 TROY OZ BULLION TOT WT41.51g

Time Left: 1d 14h 26m
$1,425.00 with 22 bids


2018-W American Gold Eagle Burnished 1 oz $50 - PCGS SP70 - First Strike

Time Left: 15h 46m
$1,418.00 with 16 bids


Gold Proof £5 2000 millennium

Time Left: 1h 4m
$1,391.01 with 34 bids


2018 American Gold Buffalo (1 oz) $50 - NGC MS70 Early Releases

Time Left: 16h 11m
$1,381.50 with 18 bids


2018 $50 Gold Eagle PCGS MS70 First Day of Issue

Time Left: 14h 48m
$1,375.00 with 1 bids


2009 1 oz 24K Gold Ultra High Relief $20 Double Eagle Gold Coin w/Box,Book & OGP

Time Left: 15h 50m
$1,370.00 with 4 bids


2013-W $50 Gold Eagle PCGS PR70 DCAM FirstStrike

Time Left: 16h 55m
$1,362.99 with 5 bids


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

Time Left: 1d 14h 51m
$1,329.75 with 18 bids


2013 American Gold Buffalo (1 oz) $50 - PCGS MS70 - First Strike - Black Diamond

Time Left: 2h 40m
$1,328.00 with 5 bids


2018-W American Gold Buffalo Proof 1 oz $50 PCGS PR69 DCAM First Strike

Time Left: 15h 45m
$1,325.00 with 13 bids


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

Time Left: 2d 14h 59m
$1,324.00 with 10 bids


2013-W $50 Buffalo PCGS PR-70 DCAM

Time Left: 10h 10m
$1,315.00 with 9 bids


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

Time Left: 14h 48m
$1,306.17 with 15 bids


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

Time Left: 4d 15h 1m
$1,306.17 with 6 bids


2007 EARLY RELEASES U.S. $50 .9999 GOLD BUFFALO NGC GRADED MS70 NO RESERVE #2604

Time Left: 14h 42m
$1,300.00 with 23 bids


1975 Gold 1 Ounce Krugerrand In Pendant Bezel

Time Left: 2d 7h 59m
$1,300.00 with 1 bids


1986 $50 1oz Proof Gold Coin, American Eagle (incl. box & cert)

Time Left: 3d 13h 31m
$1,300.00 with 1 bids


U.S. $50 Gold American Eagle Proof Coin 1986-W In Box With COA Beautiful Coin

Time Left: 2d 5h 8m
$1,299.99 with 1 bids


2013-W $50 Buffalo Rev Proof PCGS PR-69

Time Left: 9h 57m
$1,291.21 with 34 bids


2018 P Australia Gold Lunar Dog (1 oz) $100 - NGC MS70 - First Day of Issue

Time Left: 15h 37m
$1,275.00 with 42 bids


2013 $50 AMERICAN BUFFALO 1 OUNCE .9999 FINE GOLD COIN - NGC MS 70

Time Left: 3d 13h 50m
$1,275.00 with 19 bids


2017 1 oz Gold $50 American Eagle Certified NGC Graded MS 70 Early Releases Coin

Time Left: 22h 2m
$1,271.11 with 6 bids


1986 ONE OUNCE $50 PROOF GOLD COIN

Time Left: 14h 48m
$1,262.00 with 43 bids


2018 $50 Gold Eagle PCGS MS69 First Day of Issue

Time Left: 14h 48m
$1,256.00 with 42 bids


1988 China Panda 1 oz Gold 100 Yuan PCGS MS69 PAN-69A

Time Left: 2d 11h 43m
$1,256.00 with 21 bids


1 Ounce Gold Maple Leaf $50 (Canadian) Coin, 1997, Uncirculated

Time Left: 15h 45m
$1,255.00 with 3 bids


CANADIAN $50 FiFTY DOLLAR GOLD MAPLE LEAF 1984, Brilliant UC, 1 OZ AWG

Time Left: 1d 15h 47m
$1,251.00 with 4 bids


2011 American Gold Buffalo (1 oz) $50

Time Left: 1d 7h 19m
$1,250.00 with 3 bids


1999 Gold 1 Oz Austrian Philharmonic 2000 Schilling Austria 9999 BU

Time Left: 1d 14h 52m
$1,250.00 with 3 bids


1984 South Africa 1 oz Fine Gold Krugerrand / BU / Free Shipping

Time Left: 11h 24m
$1,249.99 with 1 bids


1973 SOUTH AFRICA AFRICAN 1 OZ GOLD COIN KRUGERRAND VERY GOOD CONDITION

Time Left: 5d 6h 12m
$1,237.56 with 4 bids


1924 $20 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle Gold

Time Left: 14h 29m
$1,234.00 with 6 bids


1978 SOUTH AFRICAN KRUGERRAND 1 ounce .999 FINE GOLD BULLION COIN 33.94 grams

Time Left: 3d 5h 24m
$1,225.50 with 50 bids


1979 Gold One Ounce Krugerrand

Time Left: 3d 10h 55m
$1,225.00 with 4 bids


1998 $50 American Gold Eagle 1 oz Brilliant Uncirculated

Time Left: 1d 12h 48m
$1,223.00 with 2 bids


1904 $20 Gold Liberty Double Eagle Coin NGC MS62

Time Left: 1d 10h 39m
$1,220.00 with 9 bids


1 Ounce Gold South Africa Krugerrand 1976 (40692)

Time Left: 1d 6h 14m
$1,218.00 with 5 bids


1 OZ gold Maple Coin 2009

Time Left: 1d 7h 21m
$1,205.00 with 5 bids


1978 SOUTH AFRICAN KRUGERRAND 1 ounce .999 FINE GOLD BULLION COIN 33.90 grams

Time Left: 6d 14h 3m
$1,205.00 with 8 bids


1978 SOUTH AFRICAN KRUGERRAND 1 ounce .999 FINE GOLD BULLION COIN 33.95 grams

Time Left: 3d 14h 18m
$1,201.09 with 4 bids


1978 SOUTH AFRICAN KRUGERRAND 1 ounce .999 FINE GOLD BULLION COIN 33.92 grams

Time Left: 3d 14h 3m
$1,200.00 with 12 bids


1821-1947 MEXICO GOLD 50 PESOS COIN 37.5 GRAMS 1.21 TROY OZ BULLION TOT WT41.73g

Time Left: 3d 14h 3m
$1,200.00 with 10 bids


2017 Ultra Cameo US $50 Dollars Liberty Eagle, PF-70, NGC 1 oz Gold Coin, NR!

Time Left: 8d 13h 48m
$1,200.00 with 38 bids


1904-S $20 Gold Liberty Double Eagle Coin NGC MS63

Time Left: 1d 10h 48m
$1,193.88 with 15 bids


1899-S $20 Gold Liberty Double Eagle Coin NGC AU58

Time Left: 1d 10h 35m
$1,192.94 with 12 bids


1904-S $20 Gold Liberty Double Eagle Coin NGC MS63

Time Left: 1d 10h 43m
$1,192.94 with 18 bids


1982 South African Krugerrand 22-karat (.9167 fine) Gold

Time Left: 1d 5h 27m
$1,180.00 with 1 bids


1887-S $20 Gold Liberty Double Eagle Coin NGC AU58

Time Left: 1d 10h 31m
$1,136.11 with 18 bids


EE1958 (1966) Ethiopia, Haile Selassie Proof Gold $100 NGC PF64 Ultra Cameo

Time Left: 1d 16h 47m
$1,136.00 with 25 bids


2013 $50 Buffalo gold coin

Time Left: 4d 13h 2m
$1,100.00 with 1 bids


1905-S $20 Gold Liberty Double Eagle Coin NGC AU58

Time Left: 1d 10h 53m
$1,025.00 with 7 bids


1821-1947 MEXICO GOLD 50 PESOS COIN 37.5 GRAMS 1.21 TROY OZ BULLION TOT WT41.71g

Time Left: 4d 14h 13m
$1,025.00 with 10 bids


2007 George T Morgan $100 Gold Union 1oz. Gold Proof Ultra Cameo NGC

Time Left: 6d 9h 55m
$1,000.00 with 1 bids


2014-W 50C 3/4 oz. Kennedy Gold Half Dollar, 50th Anniversary, PCGS PR 70 DCAM

Time Left: 3d 7h 56m
$947.00 with 14 bids


2014-W 50C 3/4 oz. Kennedy Gold Half Dollar, 50th Anniversary, PCGS PR 70 DCAM

Time Left: 3d 7h 57m
$947.00 with 7 bids


2014-W 50C 3/4 oz. Kennedy Gold Half Dollar, 50th Anniversary, PCGS PR 70 DCAM

Time Left: 3d 7h 56m
$937.00 with 12 bids


2014-W 50C 3/4 oz. Kennedy Gold Half Dollar, 50th Anniversary, PCGS PR 70 DCAM

Time Left: 3d 7h 56m
$937.00 with 9 bids


2008-W, $5, Gold Buffalo, MOY, PR70 DCAM,PCGS, .9999 Fine Gold, Low POP-22

Time Left: 8h 31m
$926.09 with 27 bids


2014 gold kennedy half dollar proof coin 50th anniversary (has spot on face)

Time Left: 5d 16h 48m
$850.00 with 1 bids


T2 Canada 2006 GOLD $250 0.8439 AGW Proof w/ BOX & COA CV=$1625 Mintage:953

Time Left: 17h 9m
$810.00 with 34 bids


2018 $25 Gold Eagle PCGS MS70 First Strike - West Point Label

Time Left: 14h 58m
$699.00 with 1 bids


1908 $10 Gold Indian Head Eagle .4838 troy oz

Time Left: 2d 14h 53m
$691.00 with 65 bids


2008 AMERICAN GOLD BUFFALO 1/2 Oz GOLD COIN FIRST YEAR of ISSUE MS 70 .9999 NGC

Time Left: 1d 14h 3m
$690.01 with 27 bids


2007-U.S. 1/2 oz GOLD $25 EAGLE NGC MS70 ESRLY RELEASES scarce L2471

Time Left: 13h 57m
$660.00 with 35 bids


2007 EARLY RELEASES U.S. $25 EAGLE GOLD COIN NGC GRADED MS 70 NO RESERVE #2606

Time Left: 14h 40m
$660.00 with 12 bids


2009 W $10 1/2oz Gold PCGS MS70 POTUS Spouse Letitia Tyler Collector Coin PM2741

Time Left: 17h 45m
$652.00 with 9 bids


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

Time Left: 14h 48m
$636.00 with 16 bids


2008 W $10 1/2oz Gold PCGS MS70 POTUS Spouse Louisa Adams Collector PK2722

Time Left: 16h 39m
$630.00 with 31 bids


1959 Mexico Veinte/20 Pesos Gold

Time Left: 14h 58m
$617.00 with 9 bids


1986 Gold Panda Coin; 50 Y; 1/2 oz of gold; Sealed in Original Plastic - 86A2

Time Left: 1d 16h 45m
$610.00 with 12 bids


2000 South African 1/2 oz Gold Krugerrand in OGP w/COA

Time Left: 4d 3h 18m
$610.00 with 44 bids


2005 $25 FIRST STRIKE AMERICAN EAGLE 1/2 OUNCE FINE GOLD COIN - PCGS MS 69

Time Left: 3d 13h 49m
$605.00 with 28 bids


2007-W Martha Washington First Spouse Gold $10 NGC PR69 First Strike 1/2oz 9999

Time Left: 1d 11h
$590.00 with 16 bids


1988 China Panda 1/2 oz Gold 50 Yuan PCGS MS69 PAN-70A

Time Left: 2d 11h 41m
$562.00 with 24 bids


4 - 1999 1/10 Oz Canadian Maple Leaf " 20 YRS ANS " Privy Mark in OMP

Time Left: 13h 8m
$539.99 with 1 bids


1986 1/2 oz American Eagle Gold Coin .999 Fine Gold Totally Unc

Time Left: 3d 4h 43m
$537.02 with 26 bids


1907 $10 Gold Liberty Head Eagle .4838 troy oz

Time Left: 2d 14h 53m
$535.00 with 31 bids


T3 Australia 2002-2003 Golden Jubilee Set 2.39 Oz. ASW & 0.71 AGW Total RARE

Time Left: 17h 20m
$495.00 with 46 bids


1993-P U.S. PROOF GOLD 1/2 oz $25 EAGLE PCGS PR69DCAM L2523

Time Left: 4d 13h 47m
$495.00 with 44 bids


1974 CAYMAN ISLNDS $100 GOLD + $25 SILVER PROOF SET (.365 TrOz AGW) NO RESERVE

Time Left: 4h 51m
$480.00 with 13 bids


2 pièces 20 francs or coq 1911 et 1913 Port grtuit pour la France

Time Left: 3h 19m
$465.72 with 79 bids