1913 Liberty Head Nickel Sells for Bargain Basement Price

Did the light scratch on Liberty's neck cost nearly 2 million dollars in value?

The news is probably fish and chip paper by now, but a 1913 Liberty Head nickel was just auctioned for $3,172,500.  In a previous pre-auction blog post, I mentioned that even at five million dollars, the nickel would be a tremendous bargain.  Even a Huffington Post article called it a bargain -- so it's not just me.

Of the five 1913 Liberty head nickels produced, two are in museums, leaving only three for the rest of us.  The finest specimen sold for five million dollars in 2007, while the other (famous for appearing on Hawaii Five O in the 1970's) sold for $3,737,500 in 2010.  As can be seen in the picture, the current specimen has a scratch on the neck of Miss Liberty.  If the scratch was absent, would this also be a five million dollar coin?

The specimen has an intriguing history (and I don't want to sound like a broken record -- but stories add value to coins).  It was to be displayed at a coin show in 1962, but the owner was killed in a car crash en route.  Missing for over forty years, it will now go back into hiding with a private collector.

Read more about liberty head nickels here.


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