Recent sales of a 1913 Liberty Head nickel were in April 2013 for more than $3.1 million and for $4.5 million at auction in August 2018. Horse-drawn carriages ruled the roads—and in New York City they also reigned supreme on the just-completed Brooklyn Bridge. In January 1920 he raised the ante to $600. The Buffalo Nickel was the successor of the Liberty Nickel, which had been minted for circulation from 1883 to 1912. By this time, just about every aware person in the United States of America knew that the 1913 Liberty Head nickel was the great rarity! However, nobody found one, as Col. Green held on to all of them. It is believed that he used coin dies created in case the dies for the Buffalo nickel were not ready for production in time. Therefore, the prices realized listed in NGC Auction Central are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and facts that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. In January 1924 August Wagner, a Philadelphia coin dealer, advertised the five for sale. The 1913 Liberty Head nickel is one of only five known to exist. I volunteered to write an in-depth history of it, but Kelly was in charge, and long historical descriptions, never mind that they might have been interesting to read, were not his cup of tea. Samuel W. Brown (employed at the mint from 1903 to November 1913) - August Wagner (who advertised the five 1913 Liberty Nickels for sale in The Numismatist in late 1923 and early 1924) - Stephen K. Nagy (possibly a Wagner accomplice) - Wayte Raymond (either as owner or broker) - Col. E.H.R. In 1913, the Liberty Head design gave way to the Buffalo type. Nickels from 1913 to 1938 are Indian head nickels. At the time I was a part of that firm, and when it arrived, company president James F. Kelly (who also wrote the “Trends” column for Coin World) passed it around the company, where we all enjoyed looking at it. The story of this famous coin goes back to 1913. Today, the same group would be worth on the far side of $15 million to be sure, perhaps even far more! He went to his local friend, coin dealer Burdette G. Johnson, and sought advice and financing. For several years numismatists had been endeavoring to get hold of the treasures in the Green collection, but their approaches must not have been right, or the bank wasn’t ready, or there may have been other reasons, for all were rebuffed. Finally, he was persuaded to put it into a small plastic holder, which he did, by which time the piece had become somewhat worn. No Denver Mint nickels were made using silver for this year. Error message here! No Liberty nickels were made of that date officially, but some years later collectors were stunned to learn that five 1913 examples had surfaced—all of them apparently made on the sly by someone at the Philadelphia Mint. In time, all five 1913 Liberty Head nickels were sold by Nagy as a group to Col. E.H.R. By using the NGC Auction Central, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. His 1913 Liberty Head nickel became a key attraction in the collection of Ambassador and Mrs. R. Henry Norweb of Cleveland. Now, the numismatic community was aware of a coin that would soon become famous beyond anyone’s imagination. Now the word was out, 1913 Liberty Nickels actually existed. So far as I know, Green never displayed them. Eric Newman’s collecting emphasis was on older issues such as American colonial coins, paper money, and numismatic history, and Liberty Head nickels, dated 1913 or otherwise, were not among his specialties. However, an authentic 1913 Liberty Nickel would not be worn since they never entered circulation and there’s only five known to exist. The fifth example of the 1913 Liberty Head nickel passed through several hands and became the property of George O. Walton, a North Carolina collector whose holdings, except this nickel, were auctioned by Stack’s a half century ago. The year 1913 was when the old Liberty head or “V” design was replaced by the new Buffalo design — no Liberty nickels with a 1913 date were supposed to be produced. No Liberty nickels were made that year officially, but years later collectors were stunned to learn that five 1913 examples had surfaced, all of them apparently made on the sly by someone at the Philadelphia Mint. It is believed that five specimens were struck at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia sometime between the Summer of 1912 and early February of 1913. Green, eccentric son of millionairess Hetty Green, popularly known as the “Witch of Wall Street.” After his mother passed away, Col. Green, as he became known, released all inhibitions and … Five nickels dated 1913 but featuring the old Liberty Head design were struck at the Philadelphia Mint. Or, perhaps someone else was involved. In 1913 an unscrupulous mint employee produced five Liberty Head nickels dated 1913. Then the 1913 Liberty Head nickels became available. Through agent George Blake such sheets were acquired by contacting the cashiers of the banks that received them. On the stamp collecting scene, he owned all 100 of the famous 1918 “Jenny invert” postage stamps (a 24-cent air mail stamp, with a Curtis Jenny flying upside down—the sheet had been fed into the press incorrectly during the final printing stage). Whatever the circumstances, and we will probably never know them, in August 1920 Brown startled the collecting community by displaying five pieces, nicely fitted in a leather case! Can't Email or Call Right Now? This quest became a nationwide passion! The Eliasberg specimen is the finest known 1913 Liberty Head nickel. When the Eliasberg 1913 Liberty Head nickel was sold by Bowers and Merena/Stack’s in 1996 it was the first United States coin to realize over $1 million when it brought $1,485,000. In 1913 the Liberty Head design gave way to the Indian Head/Buffalo type. Early in that year it was decided to replace the familiar Liberty Head nickel, in circulation since 1883, with a new design, popularly called the “Buffalo” nickel, featuring on the obverse an Indian or Native American, and on the reverse a buffalo (more properly a bison in terms of zoology). Only five 1913 Liberty Head nickels are known today. One landed in the collection of King Farouk of Cairo, Egypt. It could almost be called, to coin a new phrase, a “Hoboed 1913 V Nickel” since the zero has been carved into a 3. However, they are also highly counterfeited. One of these is now a famous pattern with the head of Abraham Lincoln on the obverse and a blank reverse. Mehl was an enterprising sort of man, and along with buying, selling, and auctioning great collections, he also published a popular guide, the Star Rare Coin Encyclopedia. If you want to read about McDermott and his nickel-of-all-nickels, dig out a few copies of the Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine from the 1950s, as he mentioned it many times in print—it was as much his icon as the Mona Lisa is for the Louvre. The story of the 1913 Liberty Head nickel begins with a mystery — no one is sure how or why the five known pieces were produced. Not even the most experienced collectors and dealers had ever seen such pieces before! FDR, after all, was only one year old at the time. In the world of coin collecting today, one of the most sought after of rare coins is the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel. Like other coin types, V-Nickel values can vary significantly based on condition and date. All rights reserved. It was the tail end of the Depression, and rarities were not in as much demand as they had been in the Roaring ’20s, but still, this was an amazing opportunity. In 1977 I did the appraisal of the coin, then valued well into six figures, after which I facilitated its donation to the National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian Institution, where it remains as a centerpiece today. It is said that all over America, streetcars slowed down and schedules were missed as conductors looked through incoming nickels hoping to find a prized 1913 Liberty Head! In 1913, the Liberty Head design gave way to the Buffalo type. This was showcased in a spectacular reception held in the summer of 2003 just before the American Numismatic Association, and was hosted by Steve Geppi and John Snyder of Diamond International, arranged by Laura Sperber. Today, this sheet of 100 stamps has been long since broken apart. OFCC Coin ID:47.100 - US - 1897 1883-1913 - Liberty Head Nickel - V Nickels - Obverse Design: Liberty, wearing a coronet and wreath - Reverse Design: Roman numeral V, for 5, indicating the denomination, surrounded by a wreath Because they remained in his family and were later described by his daughter. How do we know this? By that time the Texas dealer was toward the end of his career. The first official striking of nickels by the Mint in 1913 were of the Buffalo design, and the official records have no record of Liberty Head nickels produced in that year. The same could be said for a number of other characters who played on the stage of the 1913 Liberty Head nickel, including names mentioned in the following paragraphs. It seems that the person involved was Samuel W. Brown, an established coin collector who lived in Philadelphia and worked at the Mint. It is uncertain how the 1913 nickels came to be made. 1913 1938 buffalo nickel starter collection w/27 coins new album. In his career Nagy handled many prime rarities, including all 10 of the known 1884 trade dollars and all five of the 1885 trade dollars. What were they worth? These five-cent pieces were minted for circulation by the U.S. Mint from 1883 to 1913. REGISTRY OF SPECIMENS: The five 1913 Liberty Head nickels, representing the total number believed to have been struck, were in the possession of Samuel W. Brown by 1920. Either he already had all five Liberty Head nickels, or he had heard of them and wanted to acquire them, but whatever the reason, he advertised in the December 1919 issue of The Numismatist to pay $500 each for any such coins. The finest quality piece was sold by Eric Newman to Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., of Baltimore in 1948. Richard, with 45 years of experience, handles ancient and world coins as well as foreign banknotes. Hide The finest of the coins has been graded Proof-66 by various … The 1913 Liberty Head nickels are some of the most valuable and rarest US coins in existence with each one worth many millions of dollars. After running the ad, Brown displayed the nickels in 1920 at an ANA convention. The circumstances were not recorded, and the mystery of the 1913 Liberty Head nickel began! However, some nickels were struck dated 1913 using the previous year's design of a symbolic "Miss Liberty." This is part of a large and interesting file I have compiled on this rarity, a confidential copy (not for publication) of which will be given to the successful bidder for the Eliasberg/Legend nickel in our January 2007 auction. Green, eccentric son of millionairess Hetty Green, popularly known as the “Witch of Wall Street.” After his mother passed away, Col. Green, as he became known, released all inhibitions and spent vast sums on his hobbies and interests. Another 1913 Liberty Head nickel became the property of Edwin Hydeman of York, Pennsylvania, then World-Wide Coin Investments, and later was owned by Jerry Buss, purchased by Reed Hawn in Stack’s October Anniversary Sale in 1993, then passed on to others including Laura Sperber and Legend Numismatics. No San Francisco Mint nickels were made using nickel for this year. Type: Liberty Head V Nickel Year: 1913 Mint Mark: No mint mark Face Value: 0.05 USD Total Produced: 0 [ Silver Content: 0% Numismatic Value: $3428950 to $4408650.00 Value: As a rough estimate of this coins value you can assume this coin in average condition will be valued at somewhere around $3428950, while one in certified mint state (MS+) condition could bring as much as $4,408,650 at … Special focus in his advertising was given to the 1913 Liberty Head nickel. It was 1919 before the 1913 Liberty Head nickel first reached print. Various people in the Treasury Department, including at the Mint, received The Numismatist and no doubt saw the listings. It thus became a showpiece in the greatest collection of United States coins ever formed—a cabinet complete with every date and mintmark from the 1793 half cent to the 1933 double eagle. Liberty head nickels were made from 1883 to 1912. Col. Green’s 1913 Liberty Head nickels were a prized possession, and they remained with him until he died in 1936. After Farouk was ousted from the throne in 1952 by a military junta, his holdings were put up for sale. How the Liberty Head nickels were made remains a mystery because the U.S. Mint did … Home » Knowledge Center » 1913 Liberty Head Nickel. The Liberty Head nickel, sometimes referred to as the V nickel because of its reverse (or tails) design, is an American five-cent piece.It was struck for circulation from 1883 until 1912, with at least five pieces being surreptitiously struck dated 1913. The new nickel was designed by James Earle Fraser, who initially produced a number of pattern pieces at his studio. Ambassador and Mrs. R. Henry Norweb were among those in attendance in Cairo and wanted to buy the 1913. NOTE: Not all US coins are "Lady Liberty's" It's a Liberty Head Nickel Only 5 1913 LIBERTY HEAD Nickels are known and each one is valued at more than 1 million dollars. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. 1944 119,150,000 32,309,000 His style was always to work behind the scenes, to be in the background. In 1913 the Liberty Head design gave way to the Indian Head/Buffalo type. But it's the coin's back story that adds to its cachet: It was surreptitiously and illegally cast, discovered in a car wreck that killed its owner, declared a fake, forgotten in a closet for decades then declared the real deal. Times were difficult in the Depression years of 1930s, and the term, “Brother, can you spare a dime?” had true meaning. Perhaps the most active of all rare coin dealers was B. Max Mehl, who held forth in business from an elaborate office in his own Mehl Building on Magnolia Avenue in Fort Worth, Texas. No Liberty nickels were made of that date officially, but some years later collectors were stunned to learn that five 1913 examples had surfaced—all of them apparently made on the sly by someone at the Philadelphia Mint. At the ANA sale that summer, by which time I had left Paramount, the coin sold for the then record price of $46,000. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and – when appropriate – expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. Eric Newman’s inquiry concerning the Green estate arrived at the right time, and the response he received was startling: No, the single St. Louis bill was not for sale by itself, but a group of bills, including the St. Louis note, could be purchased! Col. Green was also responsible for hundreds of serial number 1 sheets of Series of 1929 National Bank bills being saved. Copyright © Stacks-Bowers Numismatics, LLC 2016. As the years passed, the five 1913 Liberty Head nickels went from here to there, always highly prized. An offer of $500 each was made for two, but all five had to be purchased, so $333.33 each was suggested for the others, bringing the total price to $2,000.00. He lived until 1957, then went to his final reward. 1942 57,900,000 32,900,000 Silver variety, from 1942 to 1945 nickels were made using 35% silver. However, very early in the year 1913, or late in 1912, when dies had been prepared for a 1913-dated Liberty Head nickel, perhaps anticipating a large coinage that never materialized, a handful of pieces, believed to be just five, were struck. McDermott, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a coin dealer who in essence built his life around this 1913 Liberty Head nickel, in the 1950s carrying it as pocket change, to pull out at a restaurant or bar to proudly display, stating it was worth a small fortune. During the same era George T. Morgan (of “Morgan dollar” fame) was assistant engraver, and from time to time he made special Proofs and other pieces for numismatists (including Ambrose Swasey). The “Palace Collection” auction took place in 1954. It was not particularly unusual for insiders at the Mint to acquire “special pieces,” and elsewhere it is recorded that a few years later in 1916, Secretary of the Treasury William G. McAdoo obtained a group of pattern silver coins of that year. In any event, when the nickels first became known to the collecting community, it was Brown who had them. There it was noted, on a label accompanying his nickel, that five 1913 Liberty Head nickels were believed to have been minted, none were believed to have reached circulation and all of them were proofs. It is believed that 5 specimens were struck at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia sometime between July of 1912 and February of 1913. During the Depression Mehl spent hundreds of thousands of dollars advertising in Sunday newspapers and even had his own radio program. Password Today, these nickels are worth millions of dollars whenever one of them comes to auction. In 1967 this specimen was consigned by his widow, Beth, to the Paramount International Coin Corporation of Englewood, Ohio. 1883 liberty v nickle no cents 1883 1913 . The fame of the piece grew. By that time Brown lived in North Tonawanda, New York, a town near Niagara Falls, where he was recognized as an important citizen and, at a later time, served as mayor. Disclaimer: The auction prices realized listed in the NGC Auction Central are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. Newman had a personal connection with Green, for in the early 1930s, when Newman was a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, he was part of a group that utilized Col. Green’s private radio station on Star Island to communicate with the Admiral Byrd expedition in Antarctica—to guide them through an appendicitis emergency. With only five that are known to have been struck, this incredibly rare coin became the first to ever be sold for $100,000 in the early 1970's - quite a feat considering that it was worth a mere five cents when it was first minted. If anything, the Mehl advertising served to solidify the thought that only five were minted—for, surely, if more had been “out there,” they would have been found! The Mint's records show no production of 1913 Liberty head nickels, and none were authorized to be made. Not much is known about the actual minting of the 1913 Liberty Head Nickels. The Liberty head design was used between 1883 and 1913, when it was replaced by the Indian Head (Buffalo) design. Only 5 Liberty Head V Nickels were minted in 1913 and production was unauthorized by the mint. As fortune would have it, it was not until November 7, 1944, when Mehl auctioned the collection of Fred E. Olsen, that he was able to personally handle a 1913 Liberty Head nickel, one of the coins earlier sold by Eric P. Newman. This was the first coin to break the million-dollar barrier, with a final hammer price of $1,485,000 after a 10% buyer's fee was added. Lost your password? Or, perhaps Nagy and Brown already owned the nickels in 1919, and this was their way of introducing them to the market. The Eliasberg 1913 Liberty Head Nickel, one of only five ever produced, will be auctioned by Stack’s Bowers Galleries in August. In 1996, numismatic history was made as Jay Parino paid over 1 million dollars for the Eliasberg specimen of the 1913 liberty nickel. Over a period of time several shipments of coins and paper money were quietly purchased from the Green estate. A deal was struck! One and all examples had eluded his grasp! Individual examples are worth up to a couple hundred thousand dollars each. 1943 271,165,000 15,294,000 104,060,000 1943-P includes the 3 over 2, and doubled eye varieties. More recently, the 1913 Liberty Head nickel has belonged to the family of Dr. William Morton-Smith, an old-time collector whose numismatic interests were spurred by a remarkable discovery. Certainly, a book-length biography of Green would make fascinating reading today. Please enter your email address. The purchasers were Aubrey and Adeline Bebee, who donated it to the American Numismatic Association Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where it remains today. In time, all five 1913 Liberty Head nickels were sold by Nagy as a group to Col. E.H.R. Mehl handled many great rarities, including the famous 1804 silver dollar, fondly called “The King of American Coins.” However, try as he might, he had never been able to buy a 1913 Liberty Head nickel! Only 5 Proof specimens are known to exist. The 1913 Liberty Head Nickel is one of the most prized and valuable coins ever produced. This volume, well over 100 pages in length, illustrated coins from colonial times to modern, and gave the prices he would pay. It is my studied opinion that the owner, at least in part, was Stephen K. Nagy, Philadelphia dealer and son-in-law of old-time professional numismatist John W. Haseltine. Perhaps one of them had a group of 1913 nickels and came forth with an offer, perhaps to Nagy, who had very close connections to the Mint. united states nickel 1913 a34 769. liberty head 5 cent victory nickel 1883 1913 random year. Another piece went to J.V. No collection like this had been assembled before, and none like it will ever be formed again. The auction data listed by NGC may occasionally contain typographical or input errors that can result in incorrect prices realized appearing on the NGC website. Accordingly, one by one he dispersed of them, until they were all gone. In time, such Buffalo nickels were made by the millions, and were produced for many years thereafter, indeed until 1938. However, I can say that I “helped” with the coin in a way. Richard Ponterio a redbook guide to shield & liberty head nickels 1866 to 1913 new&unused c.2015. As circumstances would have it, in St. Louis young Eric P. Newman, a numismatist and up-and-coming lawyer, desired to buy a piece of St. Louis currency from the Green estate, and wrote to inquire. In time he could proudly point to such “collectibles” as a full-scale operating railroad in Texas, antique whaling ships at harbor in Massachusetts, his own radio station, and a vast collection of coins. At the same time, the hobby of coin collecting was alive and well, never mind that great rarities might have been selling for reduced prices. A grass roots interest had arisen, along with other hobbies (such as jigsaw puzzles, miniature golf, crossword puzzles, and attending movies), and all was well. Of the five 1913 Liberty Head nickels, two have proof surfaces, and the other three were produced with standard striking techniques. The 1913 Liberty Head nickel was included as part of a date collection of nickels, without any particular notice being made of it. Chester Alan Arthur was in the White House, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt was napping in a nursery in Hyde Park, New York. Olsen-Hydeman specimen. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. This coin disappeared from view for a while, then in 2003 was exhibited at the ANA Convention by his heirs, surprising and delighting all who had a chance to see it. When they were or could have been minted has long been in contention. The obverse features a left-facing image of the goddess of Liberty.. Fill Out a Contact Form and We'll Contact You Later, Everything You Need To Know About Coin Grading. | Privacy Policy. The V-Nickel, sometimes referred to as the Liberty Head Nickel, gets its V-Nickel name from the coins reverse design. Two are in permanent museum collections at The Smithsonian in Washington, DC and the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado. An account of Green and the 1913 Liberty Head nickel appears in my 1979 book, Adventures With Rare Coins, in case you might want to locate a copy (it has been out of print for years). Few people had two dimes, or two nickels either, to rub together! A few years later, a prominent coin dealer of the time, B. Max Mehl or Fort Worth, TX, advertised to pay $50 a piece for a 1913 Liberty Head Nickel… Afterward, the Green estate was handled by the Chase National Bank of New York City. • Claiming there were six-known specimens of the 1913 Liberty Head nickel, coin dealer John F. LeBlanc was credited, in the Boston Globe, as the one who would likely put a stop to the “widespread ransacking of pocketbooks” looking for 1913 rarities. Facts are sketchy on the minting of the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel. There were few clues to be had, as none had ever sold openly on the market. First and foremost, the 1913 Liberty Head nickel was in the limelight. The Brown advertisements were successful and attracted wide notice. I suggest that Nagy was the main owner, or a partner with Brown, although it is not known at what point in time Nagy and Brown acquired the nickels. You will receive a link to create a new password. I was co-owner of this coin at one time in the 1970s. If you were lucky enough to find one, send it to Mehl and a handsome check would come by return mail! 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