Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Walton nickel brings $ 3.17m

It's a mysterious nickel that was estimated to bring $2.5 million at auction. The coin, known as the Walton nickel, surpassed estimates and sold for $3.17 million in early April.
This nickel is both old and rare, one of only five that were struck at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia in 1913. That year a buffalo image was to replace the Liberty head design on the front side of the U.S. nickel. Five coins were inadvertently struck with the old image. "So this coin is not supposed to exist. It is supposed to have the buffalo design," explained Rohan.

The existence of the coin and its four mates was not discovered until 1920, by which time the five 1913 Liberty head nickels had fallen into the hands of different owners. But for many years, the Walton nickel, named after one of its owners, coin collector George Walton, went missing.
The last time the Walton nickel was up for sale was 1944, when Walton bought it for $3750. Eighteen years later, Walton was killed in a car accident while on his way to a coin show. Though Walton's collection was recovered, his family was told that the 1913 Liberty nickel he had with him that day was a fake.

A decade ago, as a promotion for a display of the other four nickels in the set, a $1 million reward was offered for anyone who brought in the missing coin. Walton's family decided to bring their nickel in to see if it might be real after all. Indeed it was.

Now the family has decided to put the coin up for auction. "It's been in their family for 70 years. They decided that the hundredth anniversary of the coin was the right time to sell it and for another collector to have it," Rohan said.




http://www.cnbc.com/id/100770473