1913 Liberty Nickel, One of Five Known, Leads Heritage Central States Event Walton Specimen, lost for 40 years, offered at auction for first time alongside rare pattern and early American coinage, April 25
News-Antique.com - Apr 15,2013 - DALLAS – The Walton specimen of the 1913 Liberty nickel, graded PR63 by PCGS and one of only five known, will be sold at public auction for the first time at the Official Auction of the Central States Numismatic Society’s Annual Convention, presented by Heritage Auctions, April 24 – 26, with Platinum Night scheduled for the evening of April 25.
“The 1913 Liberty nickel is one of the most famous U.S. coins ever struck,” said Todd Imhof, Vice President of Heritage, “and the Walton specimen has the most dramatic story of the five examples known.”
George O. Walton was on his way to a coin show in 1962 when he died in a car accident. His 1913 Liberty nickel was recovered from the wreck and returned to his family. It was sent to an auction house, but returned as a fake – an error that led collectors to believe that one of the five 1913 Liberty nickels was lost and possibly gone forever.
Walton’s heirs held onto the nickel, though, and in 2003, an offer meant as a publicity stunt led to a stunning reunion.
“The other four 1913 Liberty nickels were brought together for the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of MoneySM, which was held in Baltimore that year,” said Imhof. “A reward was offered for the ‘missing’ fifth nickel, $10,000 just to be the first to see it. Nobody expected two of George O. Walton’s heirs to show up with their uncle’s nickel, much less for a collection of coin experts assembled for a midnight authentication session to declare it genuine.”
The rediscovered 1913 Liberty nickel was displayed at the convention alongside the other four and later lent to the American Numismatic Association in Colorado Springs, CO, where it was on display for nearly a decade. This is its first appearance at auction.
Selected coins collected by famous numismatic scholar and philanthropist Eric P. Newman, a centenarian who is a founding member of the Central States Numismatic Society and the last person to own all five 1913 Liberty nickels, are a collective highlight of equal importance to the Walton 1913 Liberty nickel’s auction debut.
Items being sold are from the extensive collection of Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society (a Missouri not-for-profit corporation) and have been assembled over a period of 90 years. Proceeds of the sale of all items will be used exclusively for the benefit of other not-for-profit institutions selected by the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society for public purposes and also for supplementing the Society's own museum operations and scholarly research efforts.
“Everyone who has studied U.S. coins has been touched by Eric P. Newman’s research,” said Jim Halperin, Co-Chairman of Heritage. “He is a titan of numismatics and one of the hobby’s greatest treasures. We are honored to participate in a sale that will help many worthy causes, including Eric’s tradition of adding to our knowledge about the history of money. The Newman family’s generosity is nothing short of inspiring.”