‘Pawn Stars’: Rick Discovers One of the ‘Rarest Coins’ in America

by Keeli Parkey
(Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

In a recent clip from “Pawn Stars,” it appeared that one of the rarest coins in America walked right into Rick Harrison’s pawn shop. However, things aren’t always as they seem.

That coin was what a customer named Justin claimed was a 1927 D-Double Eagle coin. “So, my mother got this from her mom. It’s been in our family since, like, the 1940s. My mom’s about to retire and she said, ‘Hey, see if you can get some money for it,'” Justin shared. He also said that he hoped to get at least $500,000 out of the coin.

The “Pawn Stars” star then shared some of the history of the 1927 D-Double Eagle coin. “This is incredible. Coin collectors go nuts over this coin. The reason it is called St. Gaudens was the designer of this coin was Augustus St. Gaudens. The ‘D’ stands for the Denver mint. In 1927 the Denver mint made 180,000 $20 gold pieces. Not a big mintage,” Harrison explained.

Harrison then shared why this coin is so rare. “But something weird happened. For some reason, the government came along and says we’ll just throw them in a vault and we’ll put them in circulation later. Six years later in 1933, (President) Franklin Roosevelt comes along – the Gold Confiscation Act, which, basically, made it illegal to hoard gold. So, except for maybe the ones that somehow got out of circulation – and no one really knows the exact story of how they got out of circulation – were all melted down. So, we don’t know the exact number of these things out there. But it’s not a lot. That’s what makes it so rare,” the “Pawn Stars” star said.

An Examination of the Coin by the ‘Pawn Stars’ Star Revealed Disappointing News

Of course, Rick Harrison wasn’t about to purchase the coin without examining it first. It was during this examination that he discovered something very disappointing.

“This is not real. It’s a fake,” the “Pawn Stars” star said. Clearly, Justin is very upset to hear the news. He exhales and drops his head. Who can blame him? He thought he was holding one of the rarest coins in the world in his hands. Harrison then explained why the coin was “a fake.”

“This is real gold. It’s a 1927, but it’s not a D. The D has been added. I have seen this plenty of times before. You take a 1927 Philadelphia $20 gold piece, where this is no mint mark, and you have a good jeweler weld a little piece of gold there and meticulously carve out a D. You take a $2,000 coin and turn it into a million-dollar coin with a little letter. But it’s next to impossible to add the D correctly because the rest of the coin is struck with a 50-ton press. The difference is really easy to tell,” Rick Harrison also said.

Harrison valued the coin at $1,800 because of the gold. So, the disappointed Justin decided not to sell the coin. “In this case, the ‘D’ stands for disappointment,” Justin said. You can watch “Pawn Stars” star Rick Harrison discover one of the rarest coins in America below.