Rare Nickel Sells For $3.1 Million At Auction

By Jessica Rawden 2013-04-26 22:11:52
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Just a couple of days ago, we marveled at the cost a giant—and rare—elephant bird egg sold for at auction ($101,813). A few months prior, the one-of-a-kind dress Judy Garland wore in The Wizard of Oz sold for even more ($480,000). If you think either of those sums is impressive, you’ll be shocked when you learn what a rare nickel brought at auction on Thursday. The 1913 Liberty Head nickel brought in a whopping $3.1 million dollars.

The coin has a fairly unusual history. It was actually minted way back in 1912 and was one of a batch a mint worker altered to create a bogus date stating 1913. According to AP, for years the coin, owned by a family in Virginia, was long thought to be a fake, but eventually it was determined to be real—and worth plenty of money.

The siblings who inherited the coin held on to it for a decade, eventually opting to sell it at auction. Thursday’s auction was held in Schaumburg, Illinois (near Chicago) and Douglas Mudd, the curator of the American Numismatic Association Money Museum says the “rarity” of the coin is what brought in those large numbers.
"Basically, a coin with a story and a rarity will trump everything else…A lot of this is ego. 'I have one of these and nobody else does."'

Whatever it is, $3.1 million is a lot of money. I thought some of the coins shown on Pawn Stars were impressive, but as it turns out, those don’t even rate.

Image Credit@ Heritage Auctions
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