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1930s & Earlier / Rare 1913 Liberty Head Nickel
In 1913, the Indian Head nickel (commonly known as the buffalo nickel) was introduced, replacing the Liberty Head design that had been used since 1883. These were the first official strikings of nickels in 1913; the United States Mint's official records show no Liberty Head nickels were produced that year. Yet five Liberty Head nickels dated 1913 came to the attention of the numismatic community in 1920. All five were in the possession of Samuel Brown, a coin collector who attended the American Numismatic Association's annual convention and displayed the coins there. Brown had previously placed an advertisement in The Numismatist in December 1919 seeking information on these coins and offering to pay $500 for each. Ostensibly, the coins had been purchased as a result of this offer. However, Brown had been a Mint employee in 1913, so many numismatic historians have concluded that he illegally struck the coins himself and then removed them from the Mint. Other numismatic authorities, however, note there are several methods by which the coins could have been legitimately produced. For instance, they may have been lawfully issued by the Mint's Medal Department 'for cabinet purposes,' or they could be trial pieces struck in late 1912 to test the following year's new coinage dies. In January 1924 Brown sold all five 1913 Liberty Head nickels. The intact lot passed through the hands of several other coin dealers before finally being purchased by Colonel E.H.R. Green. Green kept them in his collection until his death in 1936. When his estate was auctioned, all five of the 1913 Liberty Head nickels were purchased by two dealers, Eric P. Newman and B.G. Johnson. The dealers broke up the set for the first time. The fictional theft of one of the 1913 Liberty Head nickels (known as the Olsen specimen) was the focal point of a December 1973 episode of the popular police drama Hawaii Five-0. It was titled 'The $100,000 Nickel' (which indeed was the value of the coin at the time). Rumors of the existence of a sixth 1913 Liberty Head nickel occasionaly circulate. If one did surface in perfect condition, numismatic experts estimate it could command $20 million at auction. You might want to check your piggy bank...






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Posted By: Lava1964
Runtime: N/A
File Size: 283.03KB
When?: 20th May 2011
Tags: numismatics 1913 nickel rare
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