The actual material money is made of is often worthless. It is the value of the currency that gives it its worth. But sometimes special occasions, mistakes made during the minting process, or purely due to rare examples, money can be worth more than it says it is worth on the coin or note.
Here are some of the most expensive coins and banknotes in the world.
1343 Edward the Third florin – this coin has lasted the centuries and is one of only three surviving coins of the same type. It’s now worth around $6.8 million.
1787 Doubloon – a goldsmith in the 1700s tried to get coins minted in other metals such as copper and bronze, but authorities didn’t agree to it. So he also created several coins in gold and a few of these 22-carat gold coins still survive today and are worth around $7.4 million each.
1794 Liberty silver, copper dollar – this was the first dollar coin produced and issued by the US Federal Government. It is made of copper and silver and is a landmark souvenir from some of the first issued coins by the US Mint. One of these coins is now worth around $10 million. (Mental Floss)
1804 Silver dollar, Class I – the coin was made in 1804 but was minted 30 years later as part of a set of special editions for presentation to foreign dignitaries from Asia. It was sold in 2008 for $3.8 million.
1875 Chicago National $10 note – these notes were made by the National bank in Chicago only during the 18 years it was in business. They’re now a collector’s item and worth a lot more than $10!
1891 US Red Seal $1,000 note– in the late 1800s the bill was worth what it says it was worth, but today it is worth around $2.5 million and was sold for that amount in 2013. The reason its value has increased so much is because it is rare and still remains in good condition despite being more than 120 years old.
1907 Double eagle – this design was complex and very difficult for the US Mint to cut, so they modified the design and they decided to remove the words ‘In God We Trust’. Of course, US government were angered by the omission and the saying was immediately re-instated to the design. The few that were produced entered the public arena and a rare few survive today worth around $7.6 million each.
1913 Liberty Head five cent piece – this was a mistake made by the US Mint when it changed the nickel’s design from the Liberty head to a Native American. But before it did so, five of the Liberty coins made it out into public use. It is now worth around $3.7 million.
1933 Double eagle $20 coin– although this coin went into production it was never released. President Roosevelt at the time put a stop to gold ownership as he battled to get the US out of depression and solve the banking crisis. Twenty of these gold coins did slip out and while their face value is $20, today they are worth around $7.6 million.
2007 Canadian $1m coin – this is a Canadian 100kg $1 million coin and is made of almost pure gold. It was created by the Royal Canadian Mint, and its value is more than $4 million at auction.