Edmond, Okla.– The 1913 Liberty Nickel isn’t supposed to exist. Only five were made, and now they are selling for millions.
One of those coins went missing in the 1960’s but it’s been found, thanks to the help of Edmond rare coin expert, Paul Montgomery.
“For more than half a century people were looking for this coin and i’m the guy that found it. Add to it that this was a down to earth family that cared more about their family more than money and it’s a perfect story,” Montgomery said.
George Walton, one of the most accomplished rare coin collectors of his time, owned one of five 1913 Liberty Nickels.
On his way to a coin show in the 1960’s, Walton died in a fiery crash; his collector’s Liberty Nickel died with him. Or so they thought.
“For years, even decades people have walked along that highway of the scene of the crash with metal detectors looking for this coin, this is true,” Montgomery said.
Fast forward to 2003, Paul Montgomery is looking for a way to promote a coin auction.
“We put out a press release, it was a gimmicky promotion for an auction and I offered to pay at least $1 million for the coin and $10 thousand just to be the first to see it, thinking there’s no way we find it,” Montgomery said.
That’s when he got the call.
“Thousands of calls, thousands of emails. Everyone had the coin… I lost three receptionists during that period, it was horrible.”
So they didn’t find the coin, but Montgomery was thankful they got some good press for business.
And just when things had settled, “I get a call out of the blue from the heirs of George Walton,” Montgomery said.
A meeting was set up immediately. After a short inspection of the coin by Montgomery and other experts he was sitting with the family.
“I told them three things: I said the coin is absolutely genuine. It’s worth a lot more than a million dollars. And god bless you.” Montgomery said.
But the family refused to betray their legacy.
They were not interested in the money they literally didn’t care whether we sold it or not what they were interested in was making sure that the legacy of their uncle was intact.
Fast forward another 10 years to the coin’s 100-year anniversary.
It’s 2013 at the Heritage Rare Coin Auction; the legacy of the Walton coin well-established and it’s up for bidding.
It’s just a coin to many, but to the Walton heirs and Montgomery, it stands as their legacy.
“From five cents to 3 million dollars, it’s a pretty remarkable story.”