Humble nickel from 1913 likely to fetch millions
The 1913 Liberty Head nickel is one of only five known to exist. 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 thing.
“Basically a coin with a story and a rarity will trump everything else,” said Douglas Mudd, curator of the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs, which has held the coin for most of the past 10 years. He thinks the sale price when it comes up for auction on April 25 in suburban Chicago could reach $5 million.
Four siblings who inherited the coin will split the money equally.
The nickel was one of five struck at the Philadelphia mint in late 1912, the final year of its issue, but with the year 1913 cast on its face. Mudd said a mint worker, Samuel W Brown, is suspected of producing the coin and altering the die to add the bogus date. The existence of the coins wasn't known until Brown offered them for sale in 1920, a date late enough that he could not be prosecuted. The five remained together under various owners until the set was broken up in 1942. A North Carolina collector, George O. Walton, purchased one of the coins in the 1940s for a reported $3,750. The coin was with him when he
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