‘Pawn Stars’: Rick Once Paid Big for the ‘Holy Grail of American Coins’

by Amy Myers

Throughout his years as on Pawn Stars, Rick Harrison has acquired a respectable collection of coins, ranging from special editions to rare prototypes. In a Season 10 episode, Harrison found the “Holy Grail of American Coins” in the hands of one unsuspecting seller.

With how many come into his shop, he’s developed a good eye for which ones are worth his time and which ones belong at the bottom of a piggy bank. And as soon as he laid his eyes on this 1922-stamped silver dollar “peace emblem” coin, he knew he was about to write a big paycheck.

According to the current owner, a man named John, he won the rare coin in a poker game. Originally, he asked for $20,000, but Harison assured him that this was far below what it was worth.

After calling in coin expert, David Vagi of NGC Ancients, the Pawn Stars shop owner and seller found out that the silver dollar was actually a prototype. Struck in 1921, the coin was a part of a campaign to bring back the silver dollar into regular circulation. The coin that John won had such intricate detail that it was too hard to replicate and mass produce. Most of the run ended up being remelted, leaving only a few prototypes in existence. And one of them sat in a case in front of Harrison.

Vagi revealed that he had just witnessed another one of these coins in slightly better condition sell for over $100,000. With that said, he estimated that this one could run for anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000.

Of course, once John realized how valuable the coin was, he raised his price. Eventually, the Pawn Stars shop owner reluctantly shook hands to the tune of $80,000.

‘Pawn Stars’ Shop Owner Also Purchased 1715 Spanish Coin

Another notable addition to Harrison’s coin collection was a rare Spanish coin from 1715. The customer explained that he purchased the coin in Lima, Peru, and already, the Pawn Stars shopowner was interested.

Once again, Harrison called in another coin expert, Carl, to confirm the coin’s origin story. After studying the piece, the connoisseur (or should we say coin-osseur) identified clear signs that assured the piece was, indeed, from a Spanish fleet wreck in the 1700s. According to Carl, Spanish coins are in high demand, and many try to replicate them today.

All of this added up to a pretty hefty price for the coin. Carl told the Pawn Stars shop owner that he could sell it for upwards of $18,000 to the right seller. After a bit of haggling, Harrison agreed to the price of $11,000, resulting in a pretty successful trip to the Gold & Silver Pawnshop for the seller.