Littleton Bags Nickel Hoards
April 24, 1997
Two big hoards of circulated Liberty Head and Indian Head/Buffalo nickels - 152,000 coins in all - have been reported by Littleton Coin Co., Littleton, New Hampshire.
"We acquired 10 bags of Liberty nickels from a Midwest collector and 28 bags of Buffalo nickels from a collector in the Western U.S.," announced David M. Sundman, Littleton President.
There are 4,000 coins in each of the 38 bags. Littleton staff members now are sorting the hoards by date, mintmark and grade, a task estimated to take for hours per bag for Liberty nickels, eight hours per bag for Buffalo nickels as they carefully look for varieties, such as the 1918/7-D overdate and 1937-D three-legged bison.
"The 112,000 Buffalos are the most we've purchased at one time in more than 20 years and the 40,000 Liberty nickels are the most we've bought in a decade," said Sundman.
"Ten years ago, we purchased 90 bags of Liberty nickels, that's 360,000 coins, and sold them one at a time at the rate of about 112,000 a month. Today, of course, they'd sell even quicker as we have more customers."
Liberty, or "V" nickels because of the Roman numeral five on the reverse, were struck for circulation from 1883 to 1912. Indian Head or Buffalo nickels were produced from 1913 to 1938.
"The Buffalo nickel is truly an American design and reminds me of when I was a kid and could still find them in change in the 1950's," Sundman recalled.
Littleton, which spent more than $12 million the past year to acquire coins for customers, paid a combined "low six figures" price for these two latest hoards, according to Jim Reardon, the company's chief buyer. In 1996, Littleton completed acquisition of 23,000 rare coins originally collected from New York City Transit System fares in the 1940's, 50's and 60's, and purchased a cache of uncirculated 1878-S Morgan dollars and previously uncataloged merchant's tokens found buried at a Vermont farm.
Sundman said Littleton is looking for more hoards: "Buffalo and V nickels are popular. If someone had a hundred bags of each, I'd buy them."
For additional information, contact Littleton Coin Co., One Coin Place, Littleton, NH 03561 Phone 800-645-3122.