Important News! CoinLink has merged..... Visit our NEW Site

BREAKING NEWS:....... Vist Our NEW Site at

All Posts Tagged With: "1913 Nickel"

Olsen-Hawn 1913 Liberty Nickel Sells for $3,737,500

by Greg Reynolds for CoinLInk

The Olsen-Hawn 1913 Liberty Nickel sold shortly after 10:00 PM on Thursday, Jan. 7. It is the highest valued item in an auction extravaganza conducted by Heritage Auction Galleries in association with the annual winter FUN Convention in Orlando, at the Orange County Convention Center. This convention is open to the general public.

The Olsen-Hawn 1913 Liberty Nickel was the centerpiece of this year’s FUN Platinum Night auction event, which is devoted to expensive U.S. coins. Much more modestly priced coins are auctioned at other times.The Olsen-Hawn piece is widely regarded as the second finest of just five 1913 Liberty Nickels in existence.

This nickel was purchased “by a sophisticated East Coast collector,” according to Todd Imhof, the Executive Vice President of Heritage, and “has found a home among other Great Rarities,” Imhof adds. “He is not completing a set of Liberty Nickels. He bought it because he likes Great Rarities.”

Greg Rohan, the President of Heritage relays that the underbidder wishes to reveal only that he is an accomplished “business executive who just re-entered coin collecting circles.” Further, Rohan indicates that the underbidder “wanted to get started again by buying a 1913 Liberty Nickel. He is very disappointed.” It would have been a neat and exciting way to start a new coin collection.

Sam Foose was the auctioneer. Before this coin ‘came up’ for live bidding, it was indicated on the Heritage website that the opening level would be the reserve, which had not yet been met, $2,750,000, or $3,162,500 with the 15% buyer’s fee that is standard at all major coin auctions. Bidders usually take this 15% fee into consideration when they factor their bids. It is logical to do so. So, I will include adjusted bids in parentheses herein. (more…)

Legendary 1913 Liberty nickel, 1927-D double eagle anchor $30+ million Heritage FUN US Coin Auction

Spectacular examples abound as Orlando, FL plays host to the Heritage Auctions’ biggest Rare U.S. Coin Auction of the year, Jan. 6-10

ha_fun2009_13and27None other than the most famous American coin in existence, the “Olsen” Specimen of the 1913 Liberty nickel, is the anchor lot in Heritage Auctions Jan. 6-10, 2010 Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Auction, at the Orange County Convention Center.

“The past 10 years have brought tremendous growth for Heritage,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auction Galleries. “Now, we’re thrilled to present the first great numismatic event of the new decade. As the official auctioneers for the two yearly FUN conventions, Heritage is committed to offering the best coins and related items. We’ve brought together the finest selections from more than 370 consignors to make this U.S. Coins auction a truly special event.”

Without a doubt, the first among equals in the FUN auction is the 1913 Liberty nickel, PR64 NGC, CAC.

“The 1913-dated Liberty nickels are among the greatest mysteries of American coinage,” said Rohan. “James Earle Fraser’s famous ‘Buffalo nickel’ design should have appeared on every coin dated 1913. Yet there are five 1913 nickels that have the old Liberty design instead.”

Of the five Liberty nickels, two are in museum collections, leaving just three available to collectors. In the past decade auction appearances of 1913 Liberty nickels have been rarer than the coins themselves. Like the other 1913 Liberty nickels, the example offered by Heritage has become individually famous. It is known as the “Olsen specimen” after an early owner, but his is hardly the only notable name in its provenance. (more…)

The Olsen 1913 Liberty Head Nickel to be Auctioned by Heritage on Platinum Night at FUN in January

Coin World has reported that The Olsen specimen 1913 Liberty Head nickel, the most famous of five known specimens, will be auctioned by Heritage on Platinum Night at the 2010 FUN Sale in Orlando in January.

olsen_1913_liberty_nickelThe coin is graded Proof-64 by NGC.  It has the distinction of being the only 1913 Liberty Head nickel ever handled by B. Max Mehl, who made it a centerpiece of his lifelong advertising campaign. It was also briefly owned by Egyptian King Farouk. When the set of five 1913 nickels was broken up in the 1940s, the Olsen specimen was sold first to James Kelly and then to Fred Olsen, whose name it has kept ever since.

The Olsen specimen was featured on “The $100,000 Nickel” episode of Hawaii Five-O soon after it broke the record for the most expensive coin ever sold in 1972. During the episode, the “star” coin is stolen by a thief and spends much of the episode passing from hand to hand as the human stars of the program look for it. The coin’s price doubled to $200,000 when it was purchased by Superior Galleries in 1978. It has been resold on several occasions since then, most recently fetching $3 million in June of 2004.

The 1913 Liberty Head  Nickel is one of the most famous US coins. With only 5 made,  it is truly a remarkable coin. Liberty Head nickels dated 1913 first came to the attention of the numismatic community in 1920. All five were in the possession of Samuel Brown, a numismatist who attended the American Numismatic Association’s annual convention and displayed the coins there. Brown had previously placed an advertisement in The Numismatist in December 1919 seeking information on these coins and offering to pay $500 for each. Ostensibly, the coins had been purchased as a result of this offer. However, Samuel Brown had been a Mint employee in 1913, and many numismatic historians have concluded that he was responsible for striking the coins himself and then removing them from the Mint. Official records from the Mint do not record any Liberty Head nickels produced in 1913, However, that in and of itself is not conclusive sice record keeping at the US Mint was somewhat lax and there are many examples of coins that exist today that lack official records of their coinage. (more…)