1913 Liberty Nickel brings $3.73 million at Heritage Auctions January FUN U.S. Coin auction Part of Heritage Auctions' $53 million numismatic auctions week; Strength seen holding in U.S. Rare Coin market
News-Antique.com - Jan 12,2010 - DALLAS, TX -- An awed hush fell over the Platinum Night bidding floor of Heritage Auctions' Orlando FL FUN U.S. Coin Auction on Thursday, Jan. 7, as "The Olsen Specimen" 1913 Liberty Nickel, PR 64 NGC, lived up to its billing as the most famous American coin by bringing a jaw-dropping $3,737,500. This figure is tied for the third-largest sum ever paid at auction for a single U.S. coin.
With the 1913 nickel, Heritage sold three $1 million+ U.S. coins in the auction, only the third time this has ever been done in a single event, all by Heritage, and this auction is the first time that all three coins hammered above the $1,000,000 mark.
The most famous of the five known Liberty Nickels was the principal highlight in Heritage's $36.5 million+ U.S. Coin Auction, which itself is the principal component of Heritage's $53 million January 2010 numismatic auctions, collectively composed of U.S. Coins and Currency at Orlando FUN and the NYINC World Coins Auction, which realized $11 million+ over the first weekend of the new year. All prices include 15% Buyer's Premium.
"We're still continuing to see solid results in the U.S. Coin market," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions, "despite the fluctuations of the overall economy in the last year. We expected a drop off of some kind from the record prices of two years ago, but were still surprised to see just how well everything performed. In fact, the auction exceeded our estimates by 20%. Combine that with more than 6,300 bidders and more than 93% of lots sold and you have a satisfying outcome and a strong statement on the market."
There can be no doubt that the legendary 1913 Liberty Nickel is the King of 20th Century Coins and the "The Olsen Specimen," whose provenance roster reads like a Who's Who of the rich and famous - including a famous Egyptian king and the current owner of the Los Angeles Lakers , not to mention an appearance as the centerpiece of a 1973 episode of Hawaii Five-O - is the most famous of the fine known.
"The bidding on this coin was definitely competitive," said Rohan. "The winner is an advanced East Coast collector who, needless to say, now has the ultimate centerpiece to his collection and has assured his place in numismatic history."
The first million dollar coin of the auction was an exquisite 1927-D Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle MS66 PCGS, the standard for excellence in regular-issue 20th-Century coins. This example, one of only nine publicly available out of 13 known, soared to a final price of $1,495,000.
The 1927-D Saint-Gaudens double eagle is easily the most elusive regular-issue U.S. coin of the 20th century. Examples of the 1927-D double eagles have been responsible for many record-shattering performances in the decades after they first appeared in the numismatic spotlight during the 1940s, in the process gaining recognition as legendary rarities and dethroning numerous other issues. Heritage has been privileged to offer three different examples