‘Pawn Stars’: One Super Rare Coin Is Worth a Fortune

by Clayton Edwards

Pawn Stars fans are used to seeing rare items of all kinds come into the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. Customers will bring in shipwreck treasure, rare toys, pistols, and all manner of other things. However, it seems that rare coins loosen Rick’s purse strings quicker than any other item.

This rare coin made its way onto Pawn Stars a little differently than most. No one carried it in for Rick to look at. Instead, a coin dealer named Jeff mailed it to the shop. Rick explained that Jeff couldn’t make it to the store, but knew that Rick would want to take a look at the coin. Then, he discussed the item.

Rick informed Corey and the Pawn Stars audience that the coin was an 1879 Stella $4 gold coin. These coins are incredibly rare because the US Mint never issued them to the public. Rick also stated that the coin gets its name from the big star on its backside. “Stella,” Rick revealed, “is Latin for star.”

After looking at the Stella for a couple of minutes, Rick told Corey to fire up the video chat so he could talk to Jeff. This negotiation process looks a little different from usual. Longtime Pawn Stars fans will be surprised at how willing Rick is to spend big bucks on this coin. As they talk a bit more about the Stella and its history, the reason for that quickly becomes clear.

Pawn Stars Teaches a Lesson on the Stella Coin

The Pawn Stars boss explained that the coin was the result of a big US Mint project. “In the 1870s, the US Mint was trying to come up with a universal currency. They were going to try to get every country to make a gold coin with the same amount of metal in it.” At that point, Jeff cut in with some more information, saying that the Mint wanted to facilitate international trade.

Then, Rick further explained why Stella coins are so rare. The Mint, he said, pressed a little over 400 of the coins and handed them out to members of Congress for approval. Congress eventually voted no, but they kept the coins. “Most of them brought them home and put them in a safe place. And, to this day, they’re in like amazing condition.” The coin that Jeff sent, however, had a little wear on it.

Jeff explained that the wear on the coin made it more desirable. If the coin was any nicer, it would start at $200,000. For this one, he said he’d like to get half of that. Pawn Stars fans might be surprised to know that Rick offered him $90k. Jeff couldn’t take that, though. In the end, Rick agreed to pay $92,000 for the ultra-rare coin.