Coin collecting is one of the most widespread hobbies in the world. It is defined as the act of collecting or trading coins or other forms of legally minted currency. The most valuable coins are ones that were only in circulation for a brief period of time, coins that had errors during the printing process and coins that are particularly beautiful or historically relevant.
Rare U.S. coins are sought after not only by American coin collectors, but by collectors all over the world. One example of a rare U.S. coin is the 1943-S copper penny which was found that year by a 14-year-old boy named Kenny Wing. This coin was unique at the time because copper was needed for the war effort, and steel was the metal being used to produce pennies. There were supposedly no copper pennies minted in 1943, but Kenny proved that that wasn't quite the case. He was initially offered $500 for the coin, but instead he decided to keep it. The coin was hidden away for more than 50 years until the heirs to Wing's estate took the coin to a wholesaler for appraisal. Throughout Wing's lifetime he had at various points attempted to verify that the coin was indeed minted by the U.S. government, but to no avail. However, his estate took the coin to an appraiser in 1996, who verified its authenticity and paid $75,000 for the rare U.S. coin.
There are rare coins produced by the mints of nations across the world. Some collectors set a goal of collecting at least one rare world coin from every country that mints coins. Some American collectors prefer to stay closer to home and seek out rare Canadian coins rather than rare coins from far-off nations.
Among the rarest of ancient coins is the famous (or infamous) EID MAR silver denarius. When Caesar was emperor of Rome and the entire Roman civilization was in turmoil over the dissolution of their democracy, his good friend Brutus decided that the death of Caesar would return Roman democratic values. In 44 BC, Brutus and a league of conspirators attacked Caesar and stabbed him more than thirty times. As he lay dying, Caesar famously asked Brutus, "Et tu, Brute?" (And you, too, Brutus?) Brutus, not driven to shame by his act, shouted joyfully to the crowds "People of Rome, we are once again free!"
To commemorate his act of disloyalty and political intrigue, Brutus had the EID MAR silver denarius struck. The back of the coin features the words EID MAR and a picture of two daggers. There are around 60 of these coins known to exist (including two made of gold). These coins can fetch $120,000 at auction and the rare gold coins are practically invaluable.