People are always saying they’d be rich, if they had a nickel for every time they forgot their keys or every time their Aunt Carol complained about Thanksgiving dinner.
By far the finest of only five struck, of which two are in museums. The Dr. William Morton-Smith/Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection specimen. The coin has a glittering mirror surface and is the only specimen with this characteristic. A small planchet lamination is at the rim.
This 1913 Liberty Head nickel has been widely acclaimed and has been seen by more people and has been featured in more exhibitions than any other. Writing about this coin in 1956 as part of its showcasing in his collection booklet or program for “An Exhibition of the World’s Foremost Collection of United States Coins,” Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. noted in part:
“Apparently, only five specimens of the Liberty Head type were struck in 1913.… This is regarded as the finest Proof specimen.”
Of the five pieces struck, the Olsen coin (No. 4 in the registry below) is considered to be the second finest, with lustrous (not reflective) surfaces; over the years this has been graded from MS-60 to Proof-64. Or perhaps the Smithsonian coin (No. 3) is the second best (as Eric P. Newman considered it to be when he owned it), followed by the Walton coin (No. 2), and then, by a long distance, the worn, circulated McDermott coin (No. 5), now a showpiece in the American Numismatic Association Museum in Colorado Springs.
It was over two decades ago in 1996 when Dave Bowers had the privilege of cataloging the coin we offer here today, when it was sold as part of the Eliasberg Collection. The multi-page description concluded with:
“THE WORLD IN WAIT-All eyes in the numismatic world will be awaiting who will be the next owner of the Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. specimen of the 1913 Liberty Head nickel, the finest known example of a dazzling rarity whose fame seems to increase as each year goes by.”