$3m coin to be key lot at Florida sale



2015-06-26 11:43:46

$3m coin to be key lot at Florida sale

Olsen 1913 Liberty Head Nickel up for auction

The 1913 Liberty Head Nickels are some of the most sought after - albeit somewhat controversial - coins in the numismatic scene.

In 1913, exactly five of the 5c coins were struck, and all came into the possession of a Sam Brown. Brown had previously posted adverts asking for details of the coins and offering $500 apiece, and claimed this was how he came by them.

1913 Liberty Head Nickels 1913 Liberty Head Nickels From left: Eliasberg, Olsen, Norweb, Walton and McDermott examples (Click to enlarge)

However, Brown had previously been working at the Mint, and some suggest that Brown struck them himself - a 'private minting'. Regardless, the coins have been keenly sought after, and in 1972 the Olsen example broke the then record for a coin at auction, selling for $100,000.

In 1973 it was the basis of a Hawai'i Five-O plotline based on its $100,000 status. It was also briefly held by King Farouk of Egypt when it was sold to him by collector Fred Olsen. As a result, it is the most famous and best loved version of the coin, though the Eliasberg Nickel is in somewhat better condition.

1913 Olsen Liberty Head Nickel Olsen Liberty Head Nickel (Click to enlarge)

The price of $100,000 has escalated over three sales, being sold for an extraordinary $3m in the summer of 2004. Graded at Proof-64 by both the PGS and NGC, it is the only coin other than the Eliasberg Nickel to be graded as Proof. Along with the Eliasberg and Walton examples it is one of three in private hands.

Now the coin is to come up for auction at the Florida United Numismatists' auction, held by Heritage Auctions. Anyone wishing to sell their own collection in this sale should act quickly, as the deadline to submit them for sale is November 19. Heritage have sold $400m worth of coins at 'FUN' auctions over the years.

The sale takes place in Orlanda, Florida on January 7-10. The results of the Baltimore coin show will be reported here shortly.

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