US Coins

Longtime Florida professional numismatist Larry Lee dies at 70

Larry Lee stands at right in a recent photo with Kentucky numismatist Jeff Garrett, with whom he co-owned the Walton 1913 Liberty Head 5-cent coin.

Image courtesy of Jeff Garrett.

Veteran Florida numismatist Larry Lee, who became majority owner of the former George O. Walton 1913 Liberty Head 5-cent coin in 2013 “on a whim,” passed away June 7 at age 70.

Lee founded Coin and Bullion Reserves in Panama City, Florida, in 1971. Lee became member 350 in the Professional Numismatists Guild in 1984.

Lee was a life member of the American Numismatic Association and held memberships in the Florida United Numismatists, Georgia Numismatic Association, and Tennessee Numismatic Association, among others.

Lee was thrust into the numismatic spotlight in 2013 when he was contacted 15 minutes before Heritage Auctions’ sale of the 1913 Liberty Head 5-cent coin by Jeff Garrett from Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries from Lexington, Kentucky, about partnering in the acquisition of the rarity, of which only five examples are known.

Garrett was in the auction room and placed the necessary bids April 25, 2013, to buy the coin, which realized $3,172,500.

Over the five years that Lee and Garrett owned the coin, it was publicly displayed at numismatic conventions as well as in Lee’s coin shop.

The Walton 1913 Liberty Head 5-cent coin was resold in June 2018 for an undisclosed price between $3 million and $4 million in a private transaction.

Funeral services were held June 11 at Kent-Forest Lawn Funeral Home and Cemetery.

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