Tuesday, January 29, 2013

1913 Liberty Head Nickel Up For Auction

The 1913 Liberty Head nickel is one of the rarest of rare coins, as this article about an upcoming auction explains:
The 1913 Liberty Head nickel is one of only five known to exist, 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 and then found to be the real deal....
The nickel made its debut in a most unusual way. It was struck at the Philadelphia mint in late 1912, the final year of its issue, but with the year 1913 cast on its face - the same year the beloved Buffalo Head nickel was introduced.

Mudd said a mint worker named Samuel W. Brown is suspected of producing the coin and altering the die to add the bogus date.

The coins' existence wasn't known until Brown offered them for sale at the American Numismatic Association Convention in Chicago in 1920, beyond the statute of limitations. The five remained together under various owners until the set was broken up in 1942.

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