Eliasberg 1913 Liberty
Head Nickel Sold for Record $5 Million Press
Release - April 26, 2007
California collector has paid $5 million for the Eliasberg
specimen 1913 Liberty Head nickel, a record price for
the coin and the second highest price ever paid for
any rare coin.
“The new owner is a long-time Southern California
resident and a dedicated collector of historic United
States rare coins,” said Santa Barbara coin and
jewelry merchant, Ronald J. Gillio, who negotiated the
sale between the collector and the sellers, Legend Numismatics
of Lincroft, New Jersey and Washington state business
executive, Bruce Morelan.
Legend and Morelan jointly purchased the coin from New
Hampshire dealer, Ed Lee, in May 2005 for a then-record
price of $4,150,000. It is graded Proof-66 by Professional
Coin Grading Service, and is the finest of the five
known 1913 Liberty Head nickels.
This Eliasberg 1913 Nickel
(Photo - Legend Numismatics)
This Eliasberg specimen 1913 Liberty
Head nickel, one of only five such known, was purchased
for $5 million by an unnamed Southern California
collector on Wednesday, April 25, 2007, according
to Santa Barbara coin and jewelry dealer, Ronald
J. Gillio, who negotiated the sale.
a record price for a nickel and the second highest price
ever paid for any rare coin. (File photo, December 2005,
courtesy of Professional Coin Grading Service.)
said he talked with the collector about the coin for
over three months.
“We spoke many times in recent months about the
coin’s legendary numismatic status, and he agreed
to purchase it for $5 million,” explained Gillio
who recently was named Numismatic Acquisition Coordinator
for Spectrum Numismatics International and Bowers and
Merena Auctions, and continues his role for Collectors
Universe as General Chairman of the Long Beach and Santa
Clara Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expos.
The unnamed collector took possession of the coin at
an undisclosed Southern California location on Wednesday,
In 1913 the United States Mint introduced a new design
for nickels depicting a Native American Indian on the
front and a bison on the back. However, some nickels
were struck dated 1913 using the previous year's design
of a symbolic "Miss Liberty."
Only five 1913 Liberty Head nickels are known today.
Two are in permanent museum collections at The Smithsonian
in Washington, DC and the American Numismatic Association
Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
One of the previous owners of this particular 1913 Liberty
Head nickel was renowned Baltimore banker, Louis E.
Eliasberg Sr., known to collectors for the extensive,
one-of-everything collection he assembled before his
death in 1976.
“We’re pleased that this coin
now is in the collection of another devoted numismatist.
We hope he enjoys it as much as we did,” said Laura
Sperber, a partner in Legend Numismatics. The world’s
record price for any rare coin is $7.59 million paid for
a 1933 U.S. $20 denomination Double Eagle gold coin in July