In the world of coin collecting today, one of the most sought after of rare coins is the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel. It was the tail end of the Depression, and rarities were not in as much demand as they had been in the Roaring ’20s, but still, this was an amazing opportunity. The auction data listed by NGC may occasionally contain typographical or input errors that can result in incorrect prices realized appearing on the NGC website. The story of the 1913 Liberty Head nickel begins with a mystery — no one is sure how or why the five known pieces were produced. After running the ad, Brown displayed the nickels in 1920 at an ANA convention. The Liberty Head nickel, sometimes referred to as the V nickel because of its reverse (or tails) design, is an American five-cent piece.It was struck for circulation from 1883 until 1912, with at least five pieces being surreptitiously struck dated 1913. It is believed that five specimens were struck at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia sometime between the Summer of 1912 and early February of 1913. The 1913 Liberty Head nickel was included as part of a date collection of nickels, without any particular notice being made of it. By using the NGC Auction Central, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. It was 1919 before the 1913 Liberty Head nickel first reached print. Now the word was out, 1913 Liberty Nickels actually existed. This was showcased in a spectacular reception held in the summer of 2003 just before the American Numismatic Association, and was hosted by Steve Geppi and John Snyder of Diamond International, arranged by Laura Sperber. Today, these nickels are worth millions of dollars whenever one of them comes to auction. In January 1924 August Wagner, a Philadelphia coin dealer, advertised the five for sale. Now, the numismatic community was aware of a coin that would soon become famous beyond anyone’s imagination. | Privacy Policy. In January 1920 he raised the ante to $600. Fill Out a Contact Form and We'll Contact You Later, Everything You Need To Know About Coin Grading. In his career Nagy handled many prime rarities, including all 10 of the known 1884 trade dollars and all five of the 1885 trade dollars. Disclaimer: The auction prices realized listed in the NGC Auction Central are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. This is part of a large and interesting file I have compiled on this rarity, a confidential copy (not for publication) of which will be given to the successful bidder for the Eliasberg/Legend nickel in our January 2007 auction. I volunteered to write an in-depth history of it, but Kelly was in charge, and long historical descriptions, never mind that they might have been interesting to read, were not his cup of tea. Richard Ponterio With only five that are known to have been struck, this incredibly rare coin became the first to ever be sold for $100,000 in the early 1970's - quite a feat considering that it was worth a mere five cents when it was first minted. Green, eccentric son of millionairess Hetty Green, popularly known as the “Witch of Wall Street.” After his mother passed away, Col. Green, as he became known, released all inhibitions and … Afterward, the Green estate was handled by the Chase National Bank of New York City. By that time Brown lived in North Tonawanda, New York, a town near Niagara Falls, where he was recognized as an important citizen and, at a later time, served as mayor. It was not particularly unusual for insiders at the Mint to acquire “special pieces,” and elsewhere it is recorded that a few years later in 1916, Secretary of the Treasury William G. McAdoo obtained a group of pattern silver coins of that year. Only 5 Liberty Head V Nickels were minted in 1913 and production was unauthorized by the mint. REGISTRY OF SPECIMENS: The five 1913 Liberty Head nickels, representing the total number believed to have been struck, were in the possession of Samuel W. Brown by 1920. Not much is known about the actual minting of the 1913 Liberty Head Nickels. How the Liberty Head nickels were made remains a mystery because the U.S. Mint did … Lost your password? I was co-owner of this coin at one time in the 1970s. As the years passed, the five 1913 Liberty Head nickels went from here to there, always highly prized. Perhaps the most active of all rare coin dealers was B. Max Mehl, who held forth in business from an elaborate office in his own Mehl Building on Magnolia Avenue in Fort Worth, Texas. Because they remained in his family and were later described by his daughter. During the Depression Mehl spent hundreds of thousands of dollars advertising in Sunday newspapers and even had his own radio program. One and all examples had eluded his grasp! Times were difficult in the Depression years of 1930s, and the term, “Brother, can you spare a dime?” had true meaning. An offer of $500 each was made for two, but all five had to be purchased, so $333.33 each was suggested for the others, bringing the total price to $2,000.00. A deal was struck! Mehl handled many great rarities, including the famous 1804 silver dollar, fondly called “The King of American Coins.” However, try as he might, he had never been able to buy a 1913 Liberty Head nickel! Only 5 Proof specimens are known to exist. He went to his local friend, coin dealer Burdette G. Johnson, and sought advice and financing. There were few clues to be had, as none had ever sold openly on the market. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Certainly, a book-length biography of Green would make fascinating reading today. The first official striking of nickels by the Mint in 1913 were of the Buffalo design, and the official records have no record of Liberty Head nickels produced in that year. Olsen-Hydeman specimen. 1944 119,150,000 32,309,000 So far as I know, Green never displayed them. The Brown advertisements were successful and attracted wide notice. Of the five 1913 Liberty Head nickels, two have proof surfaces, and the other three were produced with standard striking techniques. His style was always to work behind the scenes, to be in the background. This volume, well over 100 pages in length, illustrated coins from colonial times to modern, and gave the prices he would pay. By that time the Texas dealer was toward the end of his career. This was the first coin to break the million-dollar barrier, with a final hammer price of $1,485,000 after a 10% buyer's fee was added. Please enter your email address. However, they are also highly counterfeited. First and foremost, the 1913 Liberty Head nickel was in the limelight. In 1967 this specimen was consigned by his widow, Beth, to the Paramount International Coin Corporation of Englewood, Ohio. For several years numismatists had been endeavoring to get hold of the treasures in the Green collection, but their approaches must not have been right, or the bank wasn’t ready, or there may have been other reasons, for all were rebuffed. The new nickel was designed by James Earle Fraser, who initially produced a number of pattern pieces at his studio. Or, perhaps someone else was involved. Recent sales of a 1913 Liberty Head nickel were in April 2013 for more than $3.1 million and for $4.5 million at auction in August 2018. • Claiming there were six-known specimens of the 1913 Liberty Head nickel, coin dealer John F. LeBlanc was credited, in the Boston Globe, as the one who would likely put a stop to the “widespread ransacking of pocketbooks” looking for 1913 rarities. A few years later, a prominent coin dealer of the time, B. Max Mehl or Fort Worth, TX, advertised to pay $50 a piece for a 1913 Liberty Head Nickel… 1883 liberty v nickle no cents 1883 1913 . Can't Email or Call Right Now? Various people in the Treasury Department, including at the Mint, received The Numismatist and no doubt saw the listings. Through agent George Blake such sheets were acquired by contacting the cashiers of the banks that received them. All rights reserved. He lived until 1957, then went to his final reward. Home » Knowledge Center » 1913 Liberty Head Nickel. It seems that the person involved was Samuel W. Brown, an established coin collector who lived in Philadelphia and worked at the Mint. Finally, he was persuaded to put it into a small plastic holder, which he did, by which time the piece had become somewhat worn. Another piece went to J.V. How do we know this? One of these is now a famous pattern with the head of Abraham Lincoln on the obverse and a blank reverse. Not even the most experienced collectors and dealers had ever seen such pieces before! Either he already had all five Liberty Head nickels, or he had heard of them and wanted to acquire them, but whatever the reason, he advertised in the December 1919 issue of The Numismatist to pay $500 each for any such coins. OFCC Coin ID:47.100 - US - 1897 1883-1913 - Liberty Head Nickel - V Nickels - Obverse Design: Liberty, wearing a coronet and wreath - Reverse Design: Roman numeral V, for 5, indicating the denomination, surrounded by a wreath After Farouk was ousted from the throne in 1952 by a military junta, his holdings were put up for sale. In 1913, the Liberty Head design gave way to the Buffalo type. Eric Newman’s inquiry concerning the Green estate arrived at the right time, and the response he received was startling: No, the single St. Louis bill was not for sale by itself, but a group of bills, including the St. Louis note, could be purchased! In 1913, the Liberty Head design gave way to the Buffalo type. An account of Green and the 1913 Liberty Head nickel appears in my 1979 book, Adventures With Rare Coins, in case you might want to locate a copy (it has been out of print for years). Error message here! As circumstances would have it, in St. Louis young Eric P. Newman, a numismatist and up-and-coming lawyer, desired to buy a piece of St. Louis currency from the Green estate, and wrote to inquire. In 1977 I did the appraisal of the coin, then valued well into six figures, after which I facilitated its donation to the National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian Institution, where it remains as a centerpiece today. When they were or could have been minted has long been in contention. In time he could proudly point to such “collectibles” as a full-scale operating railroad in Texas, antique whaling ships at harbor in Massachusetts, his own radio station, and a vast collection of coins. It is said that all over America, streetcars slowed down and schedules were missed as conductors looked through incoming nickels hoping to find a prized 1913 Liberty Head! Richard, with 45 years of experience, handles ancient and world coins as well as foreign banknotes. Chester Alan Arthur was in the White House, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt was napping in a nursery in Hyde Park, New York. Copyright © Stacks-Bowers Numismatics, LLC 2016. However, some nickels were struck dated 1913 using the previous year's design of a symbolic "Miss Liberty." But it's the coin's back story that adds to its cachet: It was surreptitiously and illegally cast, discovered in a car wreck that killed its owner, declared a fake, forgotten in a closet for decades then declared the real deal.