The only Type II Liberty Head nickel issue with its own listing in the Stack’s Bowers Coin Resource Center at this time is the 1913, one of the foremost U.S. numismatic rarities. New content continues to be added, with an emphasis on major U.S. rarities.
The circumstances of the 1913 Liberty Head nickel’s production remain murky, and our CRC listing lays out three of the most prominent/sensible theories. Per our listing:
“(1) They were struck to exchange for coins needed for the Mint Collection.
“(2) A coiner at the Mint privately struck the pieces which years later found their way onto the numismatic market.
“(3) They were struck exclusively for a wealthy collector.”
Recognition of the 1913 Liberty Head nickel dates to 1919 when Samuel Brown of North Tonawanda, New York took out an ad in the December issue of The Numismatist. Brown, who worked at the Philadelphia Mint from 1903 to 1913, offered $500 for any 1913 Liberty Head nickel, increasing the offer to $600 in 1920. That year, he attended the ANA convention with five examples. Brown consigned the five coins to August Wagner, who eventually sold them to Wayte Raymond, who in turn sold them to Col. E.H.R. Green.
Researchers note that Brown may very well have had a hand in the production of the 1913 Liberty Head nickels, though according to our CRC listing, documentary evidence of this is not presently known.
After Green’s death, legendary American numismatist Eric. P. Newman bought all five examples and sold them over a period of years. The five coins ended up in numerous prominent cabinets; King Farouk of Egypt owned two at one time. Our CRC listing includes full entries on each of the five specimens.
Like other CRC listings, that for the 1913 Liberty Head nickel includes links to recent appearances and Coins in Motion animations.