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Rare Nickel Expected To Sell For A Pretty Penny

The nickel — with Lady Liberty on the front and the Roman numeral V on the reverse — shows the date 1913. The problem is the liberty head was replaced by the buffalo head in 1912. Making this nickel a bootleg — one of five allegedly cast at the Philadelphia Mint by a crooked employee. One nickel is expected to sell for more than $2 million at an auction this spring.

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Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Million dollar nickel.

The U.S. Treasury quietly shot down a movement to mint a trillion dollar coin to avert another debt ceiling fight this year.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That idea may now seem less outlandish, given this: a nickel that is expected to sell for well over $2 million at auction this spring. Why so much? Turns out it was never supposed to be minted.

MONTAGNE: The nickel - with Lady Liberty on one side and the Roman numeral for V on the other, bears the date 1913. The only problem, the liberty head was replaced by the buffalo head in 1912, making this nickel a bootleg - one of five allegedly cast at the Philadelphia Mint by a crooked employee out to make some quick coins.

INSKEEP: If only he'd been able to hold on to it for a century. But this fraud was no fool. He did wait until the statue of limitations expired in 1920 to sell the set and he did get a pretty penny at that time, which is about to happen again.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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