Top 8 Unique Coins From The Last Decade
If you're a collector, numismatic, or simply a rare coin aficionado, you're not going to want to neglect modern coins. While everybody is on the hunt for 19th-century half-dollars or Depression-era Double Eagles, today's rare gold and silver coins get overlooked. For a complete collection, true collectors have to diversify with modern coinage.
Since the 2010s, a wide variety of rare coins have been issued by the U.S. Mint for collectors and enthusiasts alike. That's why we put together this list of unique coins from the last decade, so you can see which contemporary coins might be worth picking up.
The 8 Best Modern Coins: Unique Coins from the Last Decade (2011-2021)
Below, we've put together a definitive list of the ten rarest and most sought-after unique coins for collectors and precious metals enthusiasts alike. We focused on recently minted coins, specifically those minted between 2010 and 2020 by the U.S. Mint.
2011-P $1 Silver Eagle, 25th Anniversary Reverse Proof
First on our list is the silver jubilee edition of the 2011-P Silver Eagle reverse proof. Produced by the Philadelphia mint only a decade ago, this Silver Eagle was designed by Adolph A. Weinman and John Mercanti and saw a mintage of 40 million units.
This coin sold at auction during the summer of 2012 for over $1,600, making it one of the rarest coins minted within the last ten years. Given how much it sold for nearly a decade ago, it stands to reason that an owner could earn a pretty penny in the collector's market if they sold this 25th-anniversary silver coin.
First minted in the mid-1980s, the 25th-anniversary edition is a remarkable addition to any investor's collection. Whether you're looking to sell it at auction or buy it in the aftermarket, you can't go wrong with this lustrous silver bullion coin.
- Diameter: 40 mm.
- Composition: 99.9% silver, 0.01% copper
- Weight: 31 g.
- Pro. Coin Grade Service #: 509185
2011-W $50 Eagle, 25th Anniversary
At the same time as the above example, the $50 Burnished Gold Eagle, with a special 25th-anniversary strike, was produced by the West Point Mint. Although it's often considered a companion coin of the 2011 Silver Eagle, the 2011 Gold Eagle is much rarer and indeed one of the most unique coins from the last decade.
In fact, there were only 8,729 of these coins ever produced. The coin, which was designed by Augustus Saint Gaudens and Miley Busiek, features detailed ornamentation on both sides, including a classic inscription of Lady Liberty on the obverse. In September 2021, this coin sold for $3,300, making it one of the most rare U.S. coins in circulation that was produced since the 2010s.
- Diameter: 32.7 mm.
- Composition: 91.7% gold, 5.3% copper, 3% silver
- Weight: 34 g.
- Pro. Coin Grade Service #: 505266
2016-W $10 Gold Nancy Reagan First Spouse
The 2016 Nancy Reagan gold $10 coin is one of the more interesting contemporary coins in the United States. Minted by West Point, this coin features the face of U.S. First Lady Nancy Reagan, who served alongside her husband Ronald Reagan in the White House between 1981 and 1989. The coin's mintage also coincides with the year of Nancy's death, who passed away on March 6th, 2016.
In a lightweight, half-ounce package, this ceremonial coin is a must-have for collectors interested in the neoconservative movement in the United States. This coin comes in a 24-karat gold form factor and is the final coin in a decade-long series on former U.S. first ladies. The reverse side of the coin features an image of Mrs. Reagan posing with children during her anti-drug advocacy campaigns, and the obverse is her self-portrait.
- Diameter: 26 mm.
- Composition: 99.9% gold
- Weight: 15 g.
- Pro. Coin Grade Service #: 609220
American Eagle 2018 $50 One Ounce Gold Coin
If you're looking for a truly unique coin from the last decade, look no further than the American Eagle 2018 1-oz. gold coin. This 22-karat coin is uncirculated and currently sells directly from the U.S. Mint for $1,789. The coin features Lady Liberty on the obverse side and an American Bald Eagle on the reverse.
For the 2018 edition, the coin comes with a burgundy presentation case. The all-new collector's case helps authenticate the coin, of which only 10,000 have been produced. Alongside the case, the coin comes with a certified Letter of Authenticity. This coin is one of the most prized coins to be produced in the last few years and makes for an excellent gift for a loved one's graduation or wedding anniversary.
- Diameter: 32.7 mm.
- Composition: 91.7% gold, 3% silver, 5.3% copper
- Weight: 1.1 troy ounces
- Finish: Uncirculated
2021 One Ounce American Silver Eagle PR70
The American Silver Eagle is the world's most renowned silver coin and is a staple in any precious metals enthusiast’s collection. The coin boasts stellar visuals that silver dollars are known for, including Lady Liberty posing in front of a sunrise with the inscription “In God We Trust” displayed on the bottom-right side.
To preserve its condition, all sales of the 2021 American Silver Eagle are sold with a transparent PCGS carrying case. The case helps prevent material damage to the coin and allows for optimal preservation of its luster. The 2021 Silver Eagle is visually unique; to date, it is one of the only silver dollar coins to feature the personified Liberty draped in the U.S. flag and a bald eagle branded with the national shield on its breast.
- Diameter: 40.6 mm.
- Composition: 99.9% silver
- Weight: 1 oz.
- Pro. Coin Grade Service #: PR70DCAM
2015 P American Gold Eagle Narrow Reeds $5 Coin
Low mintage gold coins don't get much better than the Narrow Reeds $5 gold coin, of which only 2,425 have ever been produced. In effect, the Narrow Reeds gold coin is one of the rare U.S. coins in circulation. Like most other gold coins in this series, the coin features Lady Liberty marching forward with an olive branch on one hand. However, the obverse displays two bald eagles rather than the usual single bird.
The Narrow Reeds coin is named after its thin form factor, which is why it weighs in at only 3.4 grams. This is significantly smaller, lighter, and thinner than previous iterations, such as the 2014 Wide Reeds coin. Since the collar of the coin is smaller than most other coins minted in the U.S. Philadelphia Mint, it makes for a unique addition to any collector's supply.
- Diameter: 16.5 mm.
- Composition: 91.7% gold, 3% silver, 5% copper
- Weight: 0.1 oz. (3.4 g.)
- Pro. Coin Grade Service #: 539177
2014-W Eleanor Roosevelt $10 Gold Coin
Here we have another in the U.S. Mint's First Spouse commemorative coin program. This coin pays tribute to Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States (1933-1945). The obverse features an artful portrait of the former First Lady and is considered a highly desired find among collectors as there are only 1,886 in existence and the coin is uncirculated.
Compared to the Jacqueline Kennedy pieces that were issued the following year, which saw 11,222 in proof, the Roosevelt series enjoys a very low mintage. For that reason, it's often considered one of the most prized First Lady pick-ups among numismatics. The coin has a regular strike and was produced at West Point.
- Diameter: 26.5 mm.
- Composition: >99.9% gold
- Weight: 15 g.
- Pro. Coin Grade Service #: 531590
2019 Apollo $5 50th Anniversary Gold Coin
This commemorative coin is one of the first of its kind to feature Apollo-themed iconography and symbolism to celebrate the success of America's space program. This coin, minted in 2019, features astronaut Buzz Aldrin's footprint on the surface of the moon. The obverse includes an image of astronaut Neil Armstrong and the spacecraft used during the landing operations on the moon in 1969—exactly 50 years before the coin's mint date.
There's a lot to love about the 2019 Apollo anniversary coin. For one, it pays homage to all of the U.S.’s daring successes in space, including inscriptions referencing Mercury, Gemini, and the Apollo programs. As such, the 2019 Apollo coin is more than a mere coin, but also a celebration of one of America's greatest achievements.
- Diameter: 0.85 inches
- Composition: 90% gold, 6% silver, 4% copper
- Weight: 8.5 g.
- Pro. Coin Grade Service #: 697676
Precious Metals In Your IRA: Assurance As Good As Gold
When financial markets turn south, your retirement savings can take a major hit. You could even lose your life savings. To protect more of your wealth during periods of economic instability, consider diversifying with precious metals such as gold, silver, or platinum-class metals.
In this article, I went over some of the most unique coins from the last decade. However, gold and silver coins are only just the beginning. Want to learn more about investment-grade gold and silver bullion to add to your retirement savings portfolio? Download our free guide to get started today.