Yenra : Collecting : Rare Valuable Nickel Coin : Rare Coin Experts Identify and Authenticate Missing 1913 Liberty Head Nickel

1913 Liberty Head Nickel

Collectors Universe today announced that experts from the Company's rare coin authentication, grading and auction divisions have examined and authenticated the fifth known 1913 Liberty Head Nickel. David Hall, president of Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and Paul Montgomery, president of rare coin auction division Bowers and Merena Galleries were among the numismatic experts responsible for the discovery and certification of the 1913 nickel specimen early in the morning of July 30. The famous coin was last seen by collectors four decades ago.

Montgomery and the Bowers and Merena team had offered a $1 million reward for the discovery and purchase of the famous coin, and had offered an additional $10,000 to be the first to view it. The famous rare coin was brought to the American Numismatic Association (ANA) Convention of coin collectors, which opened yesterday in Baltimore, Maryland. Relatives of the late North Carolina coin dealer George Walton decided to bring the coin for inspection after learning of the Bowers and Merena reward offers. They had been uncertain of the coin's authenticity since Walton's death in 1962 and had stored it in a hall closet since that time. Six experts from PCGS and Bowers and Merena, present at the ANA Convention, examined the specimen, and comparing it to the remaining four documented Liberty Head Nickels, declared the coin to be genuine.

According to PCGS, the coin is well preserved in "Mint State," a state of preservation identical to the uncirculated state in which the coin left the U.S. Mint in 1913. The famous coin will be encapsulated in PCGS tamper-resistant plastic packaging following its display at the annual ANA Convention, where it has been reunited with the four other specimens of the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel. The ANA Convention runs through Sunday, August 3, 2003.

"The 40-year mystery is finally solved," said David Hall, president of Collectors Universe and PCGS. "The discovery of this famous coin is a historic event and we are thrilled to be a part of both the determination of authenticity and the celebration that is following. Participation by both PCGS and Bowers and Merena in this rare coin discovery underscores the leadership, expertise and prominence that the Collectors Universe brands bring to the world of collecting and authentication."

"This is a wonderful way to celebrate the 90th anniversary of this historic coin," added Paul Montgomery of Bowers and Merena. "We feel privileged to be a part of this story and to have examined first-hand the unprecedented value of the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel."

History of the Liberty Head Nickel

Liberty Head Nickels were minted from 1883 to 1912. In 1913, five Liberty nickels were minted illegally by U.S. Mint official Samuel K. Brown, but they were not put into circulation. Not of standard issue, the 1913 Liberty nickels were considered illegal currency, and became a classic among numismatists. Beginning in 1913, the Indian or Buffalo Nickel became the regular nickel issue, replacing the Liberty Head Nickels.

The Eliasberg specimen of the 1913 Liberty nickel, sold at a Bowers and Merena auction in 1996 for $1,485,000, was the first rare coin to ever be sold for more than $1 million. The reward for the fifth missing Liberty Head Nickel was based on the 1996 auction. Today, two of the five Liberty Head Nickels are in private collections and two are in museums. The owners of the recently discovered fifth specimen, have accepted the $10,000 reward for first viewing and are consulting with the Bowers and Merena experts about the possible disposition of the rare coin.