Olsen 1913 Liberty Head Nickel at Portland National Money Show

by American Numismatic Association on March 10, 2009 · 0 comments

ANAThe Olsen specimen 1913 Liberty Head nickel, the most famous of five known specimens, will be displayed at the 2009 National Money Show™ in Portland, Oregon [March 13-15].

The coin has been graded Proof-64 by both PCGS and 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 coin is being exhibited courtesy of its anonymous owner, in cooperation with Integrity Assets Management, LLC. At the conclusion of the Portland show, the coin will return to ANA headquarters, and will be displayed on loan at the Edward C. Rochette Money Museum.

About American Numismatic Association

The American Numismatic Association is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging people to study and collect money and related items. The ANA helps its 32,000 members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of education and outreach programs, as well as its museum, library, publications, conventions and seminars. For more information, call 719-632-2646 or visit www.money.org

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