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1913 Liberty Head nickel sells for $3.1M

RICHMOND, Va. -- Four Virginia siblings who never let a rare 5-cent piece slip through their fingers have been rewarded for their devotion to a humble family heirloom after the century-old coin sold for more than $3.1 million.

The 1913 Liberty Head nickel, one of only five known to exist, was sold to two bidders for $3.17 million at an auction Thursday night in suburban Chicago.

The children of the late Melva Givens of Salem will divide $2.7 million, before taxes.

While pleased with the price, Givens' children said Friday it was a bittersweet parting with a coin that never should have been minted and has an improbable history.

"I guess I still feel kind of sad about it, and I'll probably feel that way for a while," said Ryan Givens, 66, who attended the auction with two siblings. "It's been in the family for so long."

The nickel was minted surreptitiously, discovered in a car wreck that killed its owner, and forgotten in a closet for decades after it was pronounced a fake. It was later authenticated in 2003.-- AP

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