"Olsen" 1913 liberty nickel sold for $3.7 million "Olsen" 1913 liberty nickel sold for $3.7 million at Heritage Auctions Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Auction, at the Orange County Convention Center Thursday.
it. Finally, after passing through many hands, the nickel was returned to its owner, apparently unharmed during its ordeal.
The publicity shot that is reprinted here shows Victor Buono inspecting the 1913 Liberty nickel. However, Buono is holding the magnifying glass between the nickel and the camera while he is inspecting the reverse of the coin.
Victor Charles Buono was born in San Diego, California, on February 3, 1938, and died in San Bernardino, California, on January 1, 1982. He was raised in San Diego and graduated from St. Augustine High School. His introduction to the performing arts came at the hand of his maternal grandmother, Myrtle Glied, a vaudeville performer. He first appeared on network TV in 1959. He also appeared in a number of movies, including Who's Minding the Mint?.
The King of 20th Century Coins
While the 1804 silver dollar rightfully holds the title The King of Coins, there is no doubt that the 1913 Liberty Head nickel is the King of 20th Century Coins. The 1913 nickel holds the number one position in the third edition of 100 Greatest U.S. Coins. Garrett and Guth comment: "Twenty years ago, if you asked any collector or dealer to name the three most valuable American coins, the response would most likely have been the following: 1804 Silver Dollar, 1894-S Dime, and 1913 Liberty Head Nickel. Today the 1913 Liberty Head nickel has taken the lead, gaining the top position in the 100 greatest U.S. coins." The dynamics of the rare coin market have changed in recent years. According to Garrett and Guth, the 1913 Liberty head nickel's "recent surge in popularity may be due in part to the publicity that has attended its last few appearances."
Each time a 1913 Liberty Head nickel breaks a previous price barrier, and it has happened twice with prices entering six figures and later seven figures, the fame of this rarity becomes even greater. A starring role in television increases its fame, as does each story, article, auction appearance, or book about the coin. It has even appeared in comic books and children's publications, such as Weekly Reader. Sprinkle in a little mystery, and the 1913 Liberty Head nickel makes its case as the most famous rarity in numismatics.
Sam Brown and His Nickels
Samuel W. Brown is considered the mastermind behind the 1913 Liberty Head nickels. Brown was employed at the Philadelphia Mint from December 1903 through November 1913, putting him at the right place and time. He was also the first person to make any reference to the possible existence of such coins, in the form of a small advertisement in the December 1919 issue of The Numismatist to purchase examples. Further, Brown was the first person to publicly share any of the coins in the form of a coin convention exhibit, just a few months later. Although circumstantial, the evidence points a finger directly at Sam Brown, likely with the assistance of one or more accomplices.
Brown worked as a