GreatCollections Acquires Walton 1913 Liberty Head Nickel

The famed Walton 1913 Liberty Head Nickel has been acquired by GreatCollections for $4.2 million USD. It is the second of only five known examples of the ultra-rare 1913 Liberty Head Nickel purchased by GreatCollections within 12 months.

The Walton 1913 Nickel has one of the greatest stories to ever be told in U.S. numismatics. After being recovered from a deadly automobile accident in 1962, it was stored in an heir’s closet for decades before being uncovered to national fanfare in 2003. It was auctioned 10 years later in 2013 for $3,172,500. The sellers, the Firman family, acquired the coin in 2018.

GreatCollections Acquires Walton 1913 Liberty Head Nickel
Ian Russell holds the Walton and Eliasberg 1913 nickels.

The coin was authenticated and graded PCGS Proof-63 by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) in 2013.

On behalf of the sellers, Ron Firman said:

“Our family thoroughly enjoyed owning the Walton 1913 Nickel for the past four years and it was very fulfilling for us to have it on display at the American Numismatic Association Money Museum for all to enjoy during this entire period. The transaction with Ian and GreatCollections could not have gone any smoother. Ian was highly professional, worked quickly, and took care of everything. We are looking forward to our next quest in museum-quality rarities for display.”

With only five coins known and two of those in permanent museum collections, GreatCollections acquired the Eliasberg example of the 1913 Nickel last year in a historic $13.35 million three-coin Thanksgiving day transaction with the Dexter 1804 Silver Dollar and the 1894-S Proof Dime.

“The 1913 Nickel is one of the few coins that transcends into the non-numismatic world and to handle two of these in a short period of time has been a thrill. The coin market continues to gain strength, especially in rarities and ultra-rarities. We continue to maintain want lists for the most serious collectors in U.S. coins today,” said Ian Russell, president of GreatCollections.

Over the years, some of the biggest names in numismatics have owned a 1913 Nickel, including King Farouk of Egypt, Louis Eliasberg, Col. EHR Green, Eric P. Newman, Dr. Jerry Buss, Bruce Morelan, and Gerald Forsythe.

“It is difficult to comprehend that all three 1913 Nickels in private hands have found new homes in the past 12 months, and I do not believe any of the three will be on the market again in the near future. It could be decades before we see one again,” continued Russell.

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About GreatCollections

GreatCollections, the official auction house of the American Numismatic Association (ANA), specializes in auctioning certified coins and banknotes, handling transactions from start to finish. Since its founding in 2010, GreatCollections has successfully auctioned over one million certified coins, making it one of the leading certified coin companies in the United States with annual sales in 2021 exceeding $235 million. Ian Russell, owner/president of GreatCollections, is a member of the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) and a member of the National Auctioneers Association.

For more information about GreatCollections, visit or call 800-442-6467.

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