10 diciembre, 2023

Famous “Lost,” Rare U.S. Nickel Purchased From Florida Family For $4.2 Million By GreatCollections


A legendary, century-old rare United States nickel that was believed lost for 41 years and discovered following a nationwide search in 2003 has been sold by a Florida family for $4.2 million to Ian Russell, President of GreatCollections (www.GreatCollections.com) in Irvine, California. It is one of only five known 1913-dated Liberty Head design five-cent denomination coins, and two of them are in museums.

“This famous coin was once owned by North Carolina collector George O. Walton who was killed in a 1962 car crash. It was recovered from the crash, but his heirs were mistakenly told it was a fake. Walton’s sister in Virginia kept it in a closet for decades,” explained Russell. “The coin was off the radar until 2003 when a nationwide search was conducted, and Walton’s nephew and nieces submitted it for authentication to experts at Professional Coin Grading Service.”

After being sold at auction by Walton’s heirs for $3.1 million in 2013, the fabled nickel was privately acquired in 2018 by the Firman family of Florida for an undisclosed price.

“Our family thoroughly enjoyed owning the Walton nickel for the past four years and it was fulfilling for us to have it on display at the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado and in exhibits across the country during this time,” stated Ron Firman of Miami.

In 1913, the United States Mint changed the designs of five-cent denomination coins from the Liberty Head motif to a design that featured a Native American on the front and a bison on the back. However, a few Liberty Head examples dated 1913 were made under mysterious circumstances at the Philadelphia Mint.

“Two of the five known 1913 Liberty Head nickels are in museums; one in the Smithsonian’s National Numismatic Collection and another example still at the ANA Money Museum in Colorado,” explained Russell. “This is the second one that I purchased in the past year on behalf of collectors, but I doubt if any of the three 1913 Liberty Head nickels now in private hands will become available again for years.”

About GreatCollections

GreatCollections, the official auction house of the American Numismatic Association, specializes in auctioning certified coins and banknotes, handling transactions from start to finish. Since its founding in 2010, GreatCollections has successfully auctioned over 1 million certified coins, making it one of the leading certified coin companies in the United States with annual sales in 2021 exceeding $235 million. Ian Russell, owner/president of GreatCollections, is a member of the prestigious Professional Numismatists Guild and a member of the National Auctioneers Association. For more information about GreatCollections, visit www.GreatCollections.com or call 800-442-6467.

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