A hoard of 297 1883 “No Cents” Liberty nickels will appear in Heritage Auctions’ Chicago Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS) Convention sale from April 25-30.
There’s no estimate available for the lot, but individual specimens in uncirculated condition typically sell for around $1,000 apiece. A valuation of $300,000 thus looks likely, although it could be higher given the excellent presentation.
The hoard was discovered in a canvas bag somewhere in New England in 2009. The bag is printed with the name of the New York Lead Company, which used to make fishing weights. Inside was a note dated October 21, 1889.
Greg Rohan, president of Heritage Auctions, said: “The consignor wants to present the cache as it was originally discovered: Inside the original canvas sack which was found untouched since the late 1880s.
“Most of the coins grade Uncirculated to Choice Uncirculated.”
The No Cents issue was only produced for a few months. It displays a bust of Liberty on the obverse and a Roman numeral V on the reverse surrounded by a Latin inscription. The word “cents” was added later in the year after the US Mint discovered that forgers were plating the coin with gold and passing it off as a $5 (which was a similar size). <span data-mce-style="mso-spacerun: yes;">
As a result, the coin became a popular collectible. In contrast to many other coins from this era it’s relatively common in mint state as it was largely taken out of circulation. It seems likely that this large hoard was someone’s personal collection.