Rare U.S. coin fetches over $3.7 million in auction

Fri Jan 8, 2010 2:13pm EST
 
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MIAMI (Reuters) - A rare 1913 U.S. coin once owned by an Egyptian king and later featured in a famous U.S. TV detective series was sold for more than $3.7 million in a public auction in Florida, the auctioneers said on Friday.

The so-called Liberty Head nickel, one of only five known of that specific date and design, was sold "in spirited bidding" to a private East Coast coin collector in Orlando late on Thursday, said Greg Rohan, president of Dallas, Texas-based Heritage Auctions. The buyer wished to remain anonymous.

The $3,737,500 price for the five-cent coin included a 15 percent buyer's premium.

"It is probably the most famous United States rare coin," Rohan said in a statement.

Once part of the coin collection owned by Egypt's King Farouk, who was deposed in 1952, the Liberty nickel changed hands several times and featured as part of the plot in a 1973 episode of the well-known CBS TV series "Hawaii Five-O."

The value of the rare coin, which was made at the Philadelphia Mint with the Miss Liberty design, crossed the million dollar mark in 2003.

(Reporting by Pascal Fletcher; Editing by Doina Chiacu)