Lexington Man Helps Submit Winning Bid For Rare Coin

Apr 26, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. - A Kentucky-based rare coin dealer has helped broker the winning bid for a century-old U.S. nickel that was once mistakenly declared a fake.   

There are only five Liberty Head nickels known to exist.  One was auctioned off this week for more that $3.1M.
There are only five Liberty Head nickels known to exist. One was auctioned off this week for more that $3.1M.
Credit www.coinfacts.com

The 1913 Liberty Head nickel is one of only five known to exist.  Jeff Garrett, who runs Mid American Rare Coin Galleries in Lexington, submitted the top bid of more than $3.1 million at an auction, on behalf of his client, Larry Lee of Panama City, Florida.

“I actually wrote a book about ten years ago called the One Hundred Greatest United States Coins, and at the time, that coin was on the cover of the book.  It was the number one coin…and of all the United States coins this coin has one of the greatest stories attached to it and it’s an iconic item.  It’s one of those coins that anybody that’s been doing coins at all would have known about since they were a kid," Garrett said.

The collectible’s back story adds to its cachet: 

“This particular coin had been missing…the guy who owned it in the 1960’s, George Walton, died in a car crash, and after he died the family never could find the coin.  The coin stayed missing for over fifty years.  Then in 2003 they found the coin in a family closet.”

The Liberty Head nickel was offered for sale by four Virginia siblings at a rare coin and currency auction in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg on Thursday.