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Coin of The Week Archive

1913 Liberty Nickel - King of 20th Century Coins

Olsen Specimen
Hawaii Five-O
Most Famous of Five Known

A 1913 Liberty Head nickel will be auctioned by Heritage Auction Galleries during the January 2010 Florida United Numismatist Convention. The following is an exerpt from Heritage's website. For a complete description of this coin, please visit 1913 Liberty Nickel Olsen Specimen.

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.

Photos of the 1913 Liberty Nickel Olsen Specimen

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1913 Liberty Nickel Olsen Specimen Obverse     1913 Liberty Nickel Olsen Specimen Reverse

Video Description of the 1913 Liberty Nickel Olsen Specimen

Video Description of the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel

Images Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries,, Copyright Heritage Auction Galleries.  Used with permission.

Detailed Coin Specifications

Description1883-1913 Liberty Head Five Cent, "Cents" on Reverse
Denomination5 Cents
CountryUnited States
Coinage TypeCirculation Coinage
MintU.S. Mint
Description ObverseLiberty head left, within circle of stars, date below
Description ReverseRoman numeral value within wreath, "Cents" below
Designed byCharles E. Barber
Issue dates1883-1913
Composition75% copper, 25% nickel
Diameter21.2 mm.
Weight77.16 grains (5 grams)
Business strike mintage596,535,965
Proof mintage79,923

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