It won’t cost a cent to see Once-in-a-Lifetime Billion Dollar display during World’s Fair of Money

June 25, 2003 By ekr

It won’t cost a cent to see Once-in-a-Lifetime Billion Dollar display during World’s Fair of Money

(Baltimore, MD)–Four rare, 1913 Liberty Head nickels with a combined value of $10 million will be publicly displayed together for the first time since 1920 during the World’s Fair of MoneySM, in the Baltimore Convention Center, 1 West Pratt Street, July 30 through August 3, 2003.

In conjunction with the show, a reward of at least $1 million recently was announced for a missing fifth specimen of the famous coin.

But it won’t cost a cent to see multi-million dollar nickels; genuine $100,000 denomination bills; $3 million display of original Scrooge McDuck money-related art work and a billion dollars worth of other colorful coins and paper money exhibits. The World’s Fair of Money is free and open to the public.

The event is conducted by the nonprofit, 30,000-member American Numismatic Association (, the world’s largest collector organization devoted to coins, paper money, tokens and medals. Many of the 1,200 dealers attending the three-day event will provide free appraisals for visitors who bring their old coins and paper money to the show.

“The story of the 1913 Liberty Head nickel is one full of suspicion and intrigue, with an interesting cast of characters, including a U.S. Mint employee, a banker and a king,” says Lawrence Lee, curator of the American Numismatic Association Money Museum. “In 1913, the Mint began producing the famed and popular Buffalo nickel. However, five 5-cent coins with the old Liberty Head design were struck with the 1913 date. Who did it, why it was done and how it was done are unknown.

“What we do know,” Lee adds, “is one of the coins has been missing for at least 40 years, and the other four will be publicly displayed together for the first time in 83 years. And it will happen in Baltimore.”

Two of the 1913 Liberty Head nickels are in private hands. The one owned by California sports agent Dwight Manley was kept in a vault for decades by Baltimore banker Louis E. Eliasberg Sr. The other famous coin, now owned by Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, New Jersey, was prominently featured in a 1973 episode of the popular television series, Hawaii Five-O.

The other two 1913 Liberty Head nickels on display at the ANA show in Baltimore are from museums. One, previously owned by Egypt’s King Farouk, now is part of The Smithsonian Institution’s collection. The fourth, from the ANA Money Museum in Colorado Springs, 

Colorado, was owned by a Milwaukee collector who generously passed it around to strangers he met in taverns.A reward of at least $1 million is being offered for the missing 1913 Liberty Head nickel, which has been lost since at least 1962. The nationwide bounty hunt is being conducted by Bowers and Merena Galleries of Mandeville, Louisiana, the official auctioneer for the World’s Fair of Money in Baltimore.

“Like all five of the mysterious nickels, the missing one portrays ‘Miss Liberty’ on the front with the date, 1913, and a large Roman numeral, ‘V,’ on the back to indicate a value of five cents,” explains Paul Montgomery, president of Bowers and Merena Galleries. “Millions of nickels with that common design were produced from 1883 through 1912, and today most are worth less than a dollar. But the missing Liberty nickel with the date 1913 is worth at least a million dollars.”

In addition to the once-in-a-lifetime exhibit of the famous nickels, visitors to the World’s Fair of Money can see a Treasury Department Bureau of Engraving and Printing display that includes a preview example of the new “Color of Money” $20 note that won’t be seen in circulation until this fall, and two dozen $100,000 bank notes. Printed in 1934 and intended for use only between banks, the $100,000 bills are the highest denomination currency ever printed in the U.S.

There also will be a $3 million collection of 12 original artworks by Carl Barks depicting Disney’s Scrooge McDuck in money-related scenes, exhibited by Diamond International Galleries of Timonium, Maryland. While quantities last, young collectors can obtain a free, limited edition Uncle Scrooge comic book certified by Comics Guaranty Corporation (CGC).

“Money is history you can hold in your hands,” says Steve Bobbitt, ANA public relations director. “We expect more than 10,000 collectors and dealers from around the country to attend the show, buying and selling items ranging in value from a few cents each to $1 million; from ancient money to just-minted New Zealand commemorative coins from the British Royal Mint honoring the popular ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. There will be educational seminars, exhibits, and activities for young collectors including a treasure hunt. You can see everything from a half-cent to a $100,000 bill, and it’s free.”

Families can participate in the ANA Treasure Hunt during the entire three-day show. Prizes include “pirate treasure,” such as a 19th century Spanish pieces-of-eight silver coin. All Treasure Hunt participants will receive a free assortment of collectable coins.United States Mint Director, Henrietta Holsman Fore, and representatives of mints from around the globe will attend the show to meet with the public.

During the show, the British Royal Mint, New Line Cinema, Reserve Bank of New Zealand and New Zealand Post will unveil the first legal tender gold, silver and base metal coins commemorating “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

The World’s Fair of Money is co-hosted by the Baltimore Coin Club, Maryland State Numismatic Association and the Maryland Token and Medal Society.It will be held in Hall A of the Baltimore Convention Center, 1 West Pratt Street. Public hours are Wednesday through Saturday, July 30 – August 2, from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Sunday, August 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For additional information, visit the American Numismatic Association web site,, or call 719-632-2646.

Originally Release Date: June 25, 2003
ANA Contacts: Phone: 719-482-9872
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