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Nickel worth million?

A rare 1913-dated U.S. Liberty Head nickel that was featured in a 1973 episode of the TV series, “Hawaii Five-O,” was purchased for $3,737,500 in a public auction conducted in Orlando, Florida by Dallas’ Heritage Auctions last night (Jan. 7, 2010).

If you remember the television series Hawaii Five-O, there was a rare 1913 U.S. Liberty Head nickel featured in a 1973 episode that is now worth a lot more than five cents. It was just sold for $3.7 million dollars at public auction. The Liberty Head nickel is quite rare — it is one of only five 1913 Liberty Head nickels known to exist.

The 1913 U.S. Liberty Head nickel, known the Olsen-Hawn piece has been owned by a few famous owners prior to the auction. The coin’s owners have included Egypt’s King Farouk and Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss.

The coin is so valuable that it was only seen in close-ups in the 1973 episode of Hawaii Five-O. Producers of the show used a stunt double nickel for most of the scenes.

Jerry Buss paid $200,000 for the coin in 1978, and it has been sold several times since then. Records on the Antique sellet sites show that started to sell for millions of dollars in 2003.

The Liberty Head nickel is often referred to as the V nickel due to its reverse design. It was minted from 1883 to 1912. Five pieces were minted in 1913 and these are the five rare coins that exist today.

“The U.S. Mint struck tens of millions of Liberty Head nickels from 1883 through 1912, but switched designs in 1913 to depict a Native American on the “head’s” side and a bison on the “tail’s” side. However, five nickels with the new date, 1913, but the old design of the symbolic Miss Liberty secretly were made at the Philadelphia Mint and eventually sold to collectors,” Rohan said in a release.

One of the five fabled 1913 Liberty nickels is in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC; another belongs to the American Numismatic Association (ANA) Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado; and the three others, including the coin in the January auction, are privately owned by collections.

Three of the nickels are owned privately and two are in museums. One of the five rare nickels, The Norweb 1913 Liberty Head Nickel, is now a showpiece in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.

The sale of the 1913 U.S. Liberty Head nickel on January 7, 2010 was made at an auction in Orlando, Florida. The name of the seller and buyer has not been released.

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