Rare 1913 nickel fetches over $3.1M at auction

This image provided by Heritage Auctions shows an authentic 1913 Liberty Head nickel that was hidden in a Virginia closet for 41 years after its owners were mistakenly told it was a fake. The nickel is one of only five known and expected to sell for $2.5 million or more in an auction conducted by Heritage Auctions in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Ill., on April 25, 2013. (AP Photo/courtesy of Heritage Auctions.)
April 26, 2013 6:35:43 AM PDT
A rare century-old U.S. nickel that was once mistakenly declared a fake has sold at auction for more than $3.1 million.

The 1913 Liberty Head nickel is one of only five known to exist. But it's the coin's back story that adds to its cachet: It was surreptitiously and illegally cast, discovered in a car wreck that killed its owner, declared a fake, forgotten in a closet for decades then declared the real deal.

It was offered for sale by four Virginia siblings at a rare coin and currency auction in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg on Thursday, and sold for well over the expected $2.5 million.

The winning bidders were two men from Lexington, Ky., and Panama City, Fla., who bought the coin in partnership.


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