- (Photo: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
A rare nickel has sold at auction for more than $3.1M after previously being mistakenly identified as a fake.
The extremely rare 1913 Liberty Head nickel is only one of five known to be in existence left.
The nickel is so unique because it was in fact surreptitiously and illegally cast, making it even more rare.
In the past the nickel in question was discovered in a car wreckage that killed its owner. However, it was declared to be a fake and discarded into a closet for decades.
But it was eventually brought back out and examined again, and this time was adjudged to be the real deal and authentic.
The nickel was then put up for sale by auction by four Virginia siblings. They put it out at an auction for rare coins and currency in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg on Thursday.
It was originally predicted that the nickel could fetch as much as $2.5 million, however, there was much more interest in the coin that anticipated, and it eventually went for well beyond $3 million.
The winning bidders were two men from Lexington, Ky., and Panama City, Fla., who bought the coin in partnership.
It has been a busy month in the auction business, and just earlier this month it was also announced that a hymnal, believed to be the first book ever printed in the United States, will be put up for auction and is expected to fetch as much as $30 million later this year.
The book dates back to 1640 and is one of 11 copies of the Bay Psalm Book.
Rev. Nancy Taylor of Boston's Old South Church, which owned the book, has described that it is in "excellent condition" and is being sold to help revenue for ministries as well as to "strengthen our voice in general as a progressive Christian church."
The church owns two copies, but only one will be put up for auction; the other will be preserved at the church.
"It's a spectacular book, arguably one of the most important books in this nation's history," Taylor told the Associated Press.
Here is a video of the rare nickel: