Because the greatest endeavor of collectors is to buy the highest graded coins available, the most sought-after specimens are the ”Finest Known” of an issue. Finest graded NGC or PCGS certified coins are vied for by the most serious of collectors, and these coins command extraordinary demand and price support because of their obvious enduring importance to those amassing the very best portfolios or collections. Monaco heartily recommends the following online items for sale based on your particular acquisition budget. Learn more about the rewards of Finest Known graded coins below.
A “Finest Known” coin is exactly what it sounds like: a certified, graded coin that is ranked as the best example known to exist of a denomination, type, date or variety.
Many collectors pride themselves on owning the finest known specimen of a particular coin type or series. Some only buy the highest grade, finest known examples and pay a premium for the privilege to assemble their finest known collection.
“When acquiring collectibles, quality always speaks for itself. Finest known specimens in a given series have proven to be in high demand from buyers of sophistication and high net-worth. Those who are used to the best, demand the best and buy finest known rare coins.”
Vice President, Monaco Rare Coins
Collecting Finest Known Coins
Serious coin collectors invest in the finest grade coins that they can afford at the time of purchase, and they look to upgrade those coins over time, aspiring to own the finest known specimens in their collection.
The higher a coin rises in the numismatic condition census, the more that coin will cost. In numismatics, quality is king, and some of the finest known rarities can cost a king’s fortune.
Often, the best individual coin is vastly more expensive than the next best one. When there are multiple examples of the finest grade, prices adjust to the coin population and demand. However, when a there is a breakout coin that grades higher, even slightly higher than the rest, huge premiums can be attached to these finest known examples.
Few collectors can afford a finest known collection, but those who do assemble them have reached the pinnacle of numismatic collecting and their collections are celebrated as crowning achievements.
Father of the Finest Known U.S. Coins
Purchasing a finest known rare coin is an important achievement for any collector. Knowing that they have acquired the finest specimen in the world can be an exhilarating experience. Each of these coins was preserved and cared for by collectors over the decades who acted as custodians for these artifacts of history. Each coin has a special story to tell and a historical pedigree to match.
Adam Eckfeldt (1769-1852)
The first person to have an appreciation of the precision and artistry of U.S. coins was Adam Eckfeldt, who grew up in the coining business. He involved himself in early attempts at developing American coinage by the time he was 14 years old.
In 1792 when the U.S. Mint first began, Eckfeldt got a job as a mint worker at 23 years old. He would set aside the finest U.S. coins from each year. He struck these “master coins” with extra care using new dies and polished planchets.
Adam Eckfeldt was responsible for forming the Mint Cabinet Collection, which is now known as the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.
The Crème De La Crème
The finest known coins are the crème de la crème in numismatics. They have always been a part of great coin collections. Elite, high net worth collectors realize that rare coins are in a unique asset class as a private storage of personal wealth.
Rare coins of this caliber are often in very high demand because of their finite, limited supply. From a performance perspective, these tangible assets have historically outperformed paper assets, year after year.
Many great collectors passed down their collections to their heirs as generational storages of wealth that not only teach history but act as an annuity when it comes time to liquidate their collection.
Affordable Finest Knowns
Not all of the finest known coins are expensive; there are many sectors within denominations and varieties where the finest known coins are relatively affordable. For instance, areas where die collecting is prevalent, like in Half Cents, Large Cents, Half Dime, Dimes, and many other areas.
When a collector purchases a finest known coin, something often awakens within them to search out more of these finest known specimens. Many times these collectors will trade up their finest known coins, in order to obtain more desirable finest known pieces.
Finest Knowns Make The Grade
When you think of “finest known” coins, you may also think “finest quality,” but that is not always the case. Many of the earliest U.S. coins are not available in uncirculated condition, and the finest example known may rate at a much lower grade, like “Fine,” if even that.
On the other hand, finest known rare coins often grade high, but do not reach the top of the 1-70 Sheldon-Breen grading scale, like some modern issues do. The highest grade a rare coin has ever graded is a 69 grade, and that grade in itself is exceptionally rare in American numismatics.
When building a collection of Finest Knowns, that collection could range from Extremely Fine (circulated) all the way to Superb Uncirculated coins. Even though the appearance and quality of these coins would range in grades, the fact is that any Finest Known set will always be in very high demand.
Invest In The Best
The best advice that experienced coin collectors heed, is to invest in quality coins. Always buy the best grade you can afford, and find rare coins where the finest known example is affordable. When it comes time to sell, these finest known examples will always sell for a premium over their lower graded counterparts.
Finest known rarities are beautiful examples of early Americana. It is a rare opportunity and privilege to acquire a specimen of such superb quality that is tremendously significant historically, with incredible demand and strong popularity.
All of the finest known coins listed in our inventory are graded by NGC or PCGS and are available for purchase. If you don’t see what you are looking for, please contact us to add your rare coin needs to your personal Monaco want list.