February 18, 2014 By ekr




A generous donation of $100,000 has been given to the American Numismatic Association to establish the George Walton Grant for the Support of the ANA Diploma Program. This historic gift was made by the family of George O. Walton, the past owner of one of the rarest coins in United States history, the 1913 Liberty Head “V” Nickel.


The grant is made up of four donations of $25,000 each by R. Ryan Givens, Richard W. Givens, M. Bette Givens, and Cheryl and Gary Myers in honor and memory of George O. Walton and Melva Walton Givens. The donations will be used to update the traditional Diploma Program curriculum and develop a new e-learning component for members who wish to complete the program in an online setting.


“The George Walton family has been so good to the ANA for so many years, and this wonderful donation will ensure that other collectors can pursue the numismatic education that George Walton held in such high esteem,” said ANA Executive Director Kimberly Kiick.


The grant will first be used to review and update the six correspondence courses that are offered under the Florence Schook School of Numismatics Diploma Program. This extensive review process will take 2-3 years to complete, explained Rod Gillis, the ANA’s numismatic educator. Once the entire curriculum has been updated, it will be developed into a series of online courses.


Select courses offered at the ANA’s annual Summer Seminar, the National Money ShowSM and World’s Fair of MoneySM can be taken in place of Diploma Program courses, and that option will continue to be utilized in the future.


“When this is all said and done, members will have three options for completing the Diploma Program,” Gillis said. “They’ll be able to take the course online, order the textbooks and correspond through the mail, or come to Summer Seminar or to an ANA show to take the courses in a traditional classroom environment. We want to offer as many options as possible so that our members have a choice in how they receive their numismatic education.”


The Diploma Program currently consists of the following six courses:

  • Introduction to Numismatics
  • Grading Coins Today
  • Detecting Counterfeit and Altered U.S. Coins
  • The Modern Minting Process
  • U.S. Minting Errors and Varieties
  • Grading Mint State U.S. Coins.


Information on current pricing and requirements for the ANA Diploma Program can be found at




1913-Walton -nickel -Pittsburgh -2011The Walton specimen of the 1913 Liberty Head “V” Nickel was sold by Heritage Auctions in April 2013 for a then-record $3.1 million. It was sold in the custom holder that George Walton had fashioned for his prize coin.


George Walton died on March 9, 1962, when his car was struck by an alcohol-impaired driver. Walton was on his way to a coin show in Wilson, North Carolina, where he was expected to exhibit the nickel along with other rarities from his collection.


After his death, most of his collection was sold at auction, but the famed 1913 Liberty Head “V” Nickel was returned to the family after it was mistakenly deemed counterfeit. It was stored in a closet as a family heirloom until it resurfaced more than 40 years later at the 2003 ANA World’s Fair of Money in Baltimore, where it was authenticated as the long-lost fifth nickel.


The George Walton Family loaned the nickel to the ANA’s Edward C. Rochette Money Museum for approximately 10 years, where it was prominently exhibited both in the museum and at ANA conventions across the nation.


“Being able to work with the Walton nickel was a privilege and a thrill,” said ANA Museum Curator Douglas Mudd. “It has, in my opinion, the best story of the five coins due to its connection with George Walton. I was amazed to learn that Mr. Walton’s coin collection was once one of the finest of its time and held the record for most valuable collection of U.S. coins when it was sold.”

Originally Release Date: February 18, 2014

ANA Contacts: Phone: 719-482-9872


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