US Coins

1910 Liberty Head 5-cent piece a pleasant surprise

At $36,000, this Proof 68 Cameo 1910 Liberty Head 5-cent coin surpassed expectations and became one of the most expensive Proofs of the type to sell at auction.

Original images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Two coins representing different ends of the condition spectrum topped Heritage’s nearly $10 million Nov. 2 to 4 U.S. Coins auction in Dallas. Representing the upper range, the top lot was a 1900 Coronet gold $20 double eagle graded Proof 66+ Ultra Cameo by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., selling for $156,000. Near the bottom of the spectrum was a 1792 Silver Center cent pattern, with its silver plug somewhat crudely replaced with a plug made of iron at some time during its history. The unusual pattern, among the earliest products of the U.S. Mint and graded NGC Very Good Details, Plug Replaced, Repaired, Scratched, sold for a still impressive $78,000. 

Here is one of three Liberty Head 5-cent pieces that impressed bidders in Dallas:

The Lot:

1910 Liberty Head 5-cent piece, Proof 68 Cameo, green CAC sticker

The Price:


The Story:

Proof strikes were produced throughout the four decades of the Liberty Head 5-cent piece series, starting with both the CENTS and No CENTS reverses of the 1883 issues and continuing through the end of the series in 1912 (or 1913 if one considers this date, clandestinely struck and represented by just five examples, legitimate).

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A date set of Proof Liberty Head 5-cent coins is an attainable challenge, but many collectors want just a single great example for their type sets. 1910 saw an average mintage of 2,405 Proof Liberty 5-cent pieces and PCGS has graded seven of this date in Proof 68, with just three given a Cameo designation and none certified Deep Cameo in this grade.

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An example graded PCGS Proof 68 Cameo and having a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker indicating quality within the grade sold for an extremely robust $36,000, certainly surpassing expectations and making this among the most expensive “V nickels” (a nickname given the type because of the Roman Numeral V on the reverse) in existence. 

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