Extremely rare nickel sells for $4.2 million

An auction house announced The Walton 1913 Liberty Head Nickel was acquired for $4.2 million.
An auction house announced The Walton 1913 Liberty Head Nickel was acquired for $4.2 million.(GreatCollections)
Published: Oct. 22, 2022 at 1:26 PM CDT
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IRVINE, Calif. (Gray News) - An auction house purchased the famed Walton 1913 Liberty Head Nickel.

GreatCollections Coin Auctions announced it has acquired the famous coin for $4.2 million.

According to the buyer, the coin “has one of the greatest stories to ever be told in U.S. numismatics” and is the second of only five known examples of the ultra-rare 1913 Liberty Head Nickel.

The Associated Press reports the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel is so valuable because in 1913 the U.S. mint started producing Buffalo or American Indian Head nickels instead of Liberty Head nickels that were produced from 1883-1912.

The 1913 Liberty Head was either struck by accident by the U.S. Mint or, as many numismatic historians have concluded, U.S. Mint employee Samuel Brown may have struck them himself or had them struck and taken them from the Mint.

Brown sold the only five copies of the nickel in 1924.

According to the auction house, some of the biggest names in numismatics have owned a 1913 Nickel, including King Farouk of Egypt, Louis Eliasberg, Eric Newman, Dr. Jerry Buss, Bruce Morelan and Gerald Forsythe.

“The 1913 Nickel is one of the few coins that transcends into the non-numismatic world,” said Ian Russell, president of GreatCollections.

The sellers of the coin, the Firman family, acquired the coin in 2018.

“Our family thoroughly enjoyed owning the Walton 1913 Nickel for the past four years,” Ron Firman said. “The transaction with Ian and GreatCollections could not have gone any smoother.”

Auction house representatives said the coin was authenticated and graded by Professional Coin Grading Service in 2013.

GreatCollections said it acquired the Eliasberg example of the 1913 Nickel last year in a historic $13.35 million three-coin transaction.