1913 Liberty Head Nickel – The Coin of Controversy: Valued at over $10 million

The 1913 Liberty Head Nickel stands as one of the most enigmatic and valuable coins in numismatic history. Its story is a blend of mystery, controversy, and immense value, captivating collectors and historians alike. This listicle delves into the fascinating aspects of this rare coin, each point unraveling a part of its intriguing narrative.


The 1913 Liberty Head Nickel is more than just a piece of metal; it’s a symbol of both historical significance and numismatic wonder. With only five known examples in existence, its rarity and the mysteries surrounding its origin have made it a legend in the coin collecting world. Valued at over $10 million, it’s a coin that has not only broken records in auctions but has also broken the norms of what we understand about early 20th-century minting practices.

1. The Mystery of Its Origin

The origin of the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel is shrouded in mystery. The Liberty Head design was officially replaced by the Buffalo Nickel in February 1913, yet five Liberty Nickels with the year 1913 mysteriously surfaced. There are no official records of their minting, leading to speculation that they were struck under clandestine circumstances, possibly by a mint employee. This uncertainty adds a layer of intrigue and makes the coin a subject of continuous debate and fascination.

2. The Rarity Factor

The rarity of the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel cannot be overstated. With only five known specimens, it ranks among the rarest of coins. Each coin has its own unique story and condition, contributing to its overall allure. This extreme rarity not only enhances its value but also makes it a holy grail for collectors, a tangible piece of numismatic folklore.

3. Record-Breaking Auction Sales

The 1913 Liberty Head Nickel has a history of record-breaking sales at auctions. Each time one of the five coins surfaces, it garners immense attention, often selling for millions of dollars. The high value reflects not just its rarity but also the coin’s status as a cultural and historical artifact. These sales are not just transactions; they are events that celebrate and acknowledge the coin’s unique place in history.

4. The Coin’s Cultural Impact

Beyond its monetary value, the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel has made a significant impact on popular culture. It has been the subject of books, articles, and even an episode of the TV show “Hawaii Five-O.” This cultural footprint is a testament to the coin’s fascinating story and its ability to capture the imagination of people far beyond the numismatic community.

5. The Ongoing Mysteries and Theories

Even after a century, the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel continues to be a source of mystery and speculation. Theories about how and why it was minted are abundant, with some suggesting it was a rogue act by a mint employee, while others believe it was a legally sanctioned, but unrecorded, minting. This ongoing mystery keeps the coin in the limelight and continues to intrigue experts and amateurs alike.


The 1913 Liberty Head Nickel is more than just a rare coin; it’s a piece of history that encapsulates mystery, controversy, and immense value. Its story is a blend of unanswered questions and remarkable occurrences, making it a perennial subject of interest in the world of numismatics. As it continues to fascinate with its elusive past and record-breaking present, the 1913 Liberty Head Nickel remains a symbol of the endless intrigue that coin collecting can offer.