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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, January 10, 2010

1913 nickel sells for record $3.74M

Advertiser Staff

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A 1913 Liberty Head V nickel that was featured in an episode of "Hawaii Five-0" and is known in the collectors' world as the "Mona Lisa of rare coins" has sold for a record $3.7 million at public auction.

The nickel is one of only five minted and is one of the most famous rare U.S. coins. It was once owned by King Farouk of Egypt and was featured in the 1973 "Hawaii Five-0" episode "The $100,000 Nickel."

The coin was sold Thursday to an East Coast coin collector for $3.74 million at an auction in Florida. It was the largest transaction by a retail brokerage firm, according to Texas-based Heritage Auctions, which handled the bidding.

The origin of the coins is unclear, but experts believe they were struck surreptitiously by a U.S. Mint employee in 1913.

The coins feature the Liberty Head on one side and a "V" on the other.

The "Hawaii Five-0" coin was the first to break the $100,000 price in 1972 and experts predict it will be the first to top the $10 million price barrier.

The coin was the central "character" in the "Five-0" episode and was used only for closeup shots, according to Heritage Auctions. In all the other scenes, a "stunt double" was substituted for the actual coin.