Hawaii Five-O - The $100,000 Nickel (1973)
This episode of the CBS television program "Hawaii Five-O" shows a very famous American coin rarity,
the 1913 Liberty Head nickel, of which only five exist.
The program starred Jack Lord as Detective Steve McGarrett and James MacArthur as Dan Williams,
two Honolulu-based Hawaii state police detectives specializing in serious crimes.
The program filmed on location in Honolulu and Hawaii.
1913 Liberty Head nickel.
The real nickel was provided by the company which owned it at the time.
The episode also displayed photographs of several other American rare coins.
The coin was also owned by Texas coin dealer B. Max Mehl and Egypt's King Farouk.
It was sold to World Wide Coin Investments in 1972 for $100,000.
It was the first coin to sell for $100,000, hence the title of this Hawaii Five-O episode.
and when coin dealers wore suits.
Rare Coins courtesy of ....
United National Coin Corporation, Beverly Hills, California
World Wide Coin Investments, Limited, Atlanta, Georgia
have sold for several million dollars in recent years.
Eric Damien is an international criminal who likes to commit high-publicity crimes.
He is a very heavy man, and in size and personality, somewhat reminiscent of
Sydney Greenstreet in the film "The Maltese Falcon".
Damien has never been caught because he eliminates his accomplices after a caper.
He has hired Henry Andecker, a convicted counterfeiter and engraver, to convert a
1903 nickel into a rare 1913 nickel.
2. Forger using 1903 nickel to create fake 1913 nickel
The Ilikai Hotel is hosting a coin show and auction.
Motorcycle policemen escort coin dealer carring the rare nickel to the hotel.
3. Hotel welcome sign
The sign reads:
PACIFIC COIN CONVENTION
COIN BOURSE and AUCTION - PACIFIC BALLROOM
In the next scene, the forger is heating the 1903 nickel so that a '1' can cover the '0'.
4. The forger is heating the coin
The coin dealer arrives with the real nickel, under heavy guard.
The coin is in an attache case handcuffed to the dealer.
5. Coin dealer Haviland and police escort
6. The fake 1913 Liberty Head nickel
At the hotel the dealer has the coin placed in the hotel safe overnight.
7. The dealer hands the coin to the hotel safe manager
8. The real 1913 Liberty Head nickel
The coin forger Andecker is bragging about his work to someone, and asking for his $1,000.
9. Forger Andecker holding the fake nickel
The other person has a gun, this looks bad for Andecker.
10. Paul Anthony
Paul picks up the nickel and then shoots and kills Andecker, leaving his body on a sidewalk.
The program title then appears.
11. Program title
Hawaii Five-O officers McGarrett and Dan arrive to investigate the shooting.
12. McGarrett and Dan arrive
A police detective finds that the killer used "mercury core" bullets,
McGarrett states that he is a professional, a "pro's pro".
sleight-of-hand techniques to trick customers out of currency bills by swapping low bills for high ones.
Arnie is bailed out by Paul.
13. Arnie being bailed out of jail
Paul drives Arnie to a beachfront where he meets his wife Millie.
14. Millie and Arnie
Arnie and Millie meet the "Mr. Big" of the operation.
15. Eric Damien
Damien and Paul invite the couple to a beachfront lunch.
16. Millie, Arnie, Paul, and Damien at the table
Damien introduces himself and discusses Arnie's abilities.
He asks Arnie if he can manipulate coins as well as bills,
and whether he can do it while wearing gloves.
Arnie says that he can.
for a genuine one being auctioned by a coin dealer named Haviland.
Damien has arranged for Arnie to have fake credentials as a wealthy coin collector.
Millie tries to convince Arnie not to do it but Arnie wants the money to "start fresh".
Arnie and Millie head for their hotel to discuss the situation.
A series of rare American coin obverses and reverses are shown, with their values.
Here are two of them:
17. Gold Stella four-dollar 1879 obverse
18. Gold Panama-Pacific Expo Round $50 1915 obverse
The coins shown in the sequence are:
Four Dollar gold Stella 1879 - $18,000
Octagonal Panama-Pacific Expo $50 1915 gold - $15,000
Round Panama-Pacific Expo $50 1915 gold - $15,000
Silver Dollar 1796 - $20,000
Liberty Cap gold Eagle 1795 - $12,000
wealthy coin collector appear to be in order, and the dealer allows him to examine the nickel.
McGarrett and his crew are also at the show.
19. Arnie looks at the nickel
Millie shows a bit of leg to distract the dealer, and Arnie makes the switch.
Arnie does the coin swap.
21. The swap
Arnie walks through the show bourse (sales area) after completing the swap.
22. Mission accomplished, maybe
The dealer has discovered that he now has a fake coin and called the Five-O officers.
Arnie walks towards the door, but is stopped by a policeman who tells him that
no one is allowed to leave the building.
23. Policeman stops Arnie
Arnie figures that something is wrong and needs to dispose of the now "hot" coin.
Some newspaper racks give Arnie an idea.
24. Newspaper racks
Arnie deposits the real coin into a newspaper rack.
25. The nickel goes in
The coin shown is a 1910 nickel.
The dealer gives a list of names of people who handled the coin to McGarrett.
26. McGarrett and dealer
"Can you get the real one back, Mr. McGarrett?"
"There are only five in existence."
"Do you understand what means?"
"To have a coin of such fantastic rarity in my trust, and to just let someone walk away with it."
"We'll do what we can."
After a while, people are cleared to leave the hotel.
McGarrett has credentials of people who handled nickel checked.
opens the newspaper rack to retrieve the coins.
27. Vendor opening newspaper rack
He opens the rack and loads the change into a cloth bag, which he takes to his car.
was using false identification.
28. McGarrett receives report
Arnie's credentials prove to be false, and an officer reports that he was bailed out of jail.
His record as a sleight-of-hand artist is now known and an arrest warrant is issued for Arnie.
The vendor pulls a gun and they struggle, with the vendor getting shot.
29. Arnie fighting with the vendor
The coin bag spills the coins onto the street.
reports the gunshot and the police arrive.
30. Arnie picks up spilled change
McGarrett learns that there has been no contact with insurance company,
so the coin wasn't stolen to sell back to the company.
31. McGarrett receives the news
"And you checked Haviland's insurance company?"
"Yes, no one's contacted them."
"Well, I guess the thief isn't planning to try to peddle the coin back."
Damien is waiting for Arnie's telephone call, it has been too long after Arnie went to the hotel.
He gets worried and sends his man to Arnie's hotel.
32. Damien waits for Arnie's call
The police laboratory confirms the mercury core bullets killed Andecker, and that the bullets
were made in Belgium or Germany.
A criminal record check finds Andecker's conviction in Europe for forging stock certificates,
which would mean that he was an engraver.
He and Dan learn of the vendor shooting for $50 in change and connect this to the coin.
33. McGarrett and Dan
McGarrett had heard of a master criminal Eric Damien from previous reports, and he suspects that
he is behind the crimes.
Vogler warns McGarrett that Damien is accompanied by a professional killer.
McGarrett vows to pass out copies of the photo so that police will recognize his "pudgy mug".
They have a short conversation, McGarrett asking him about the dead forger and the coin theft.
Damien claims to know nothing.
McGarrett has brought a search warrant.
34. Damien finds unexpected guest McGarrett
35. Damien and McGarrett trade quips
"Well, what did you expect to find?"
"A nickel, just a nickel."
"Or maybe a clue or two regarding the death of an engraver."
"Am I getting through?"
"Naturally, I'm spellbound."
"I feel like a mongoose watching a cobra."
"I've been reading up on your international exploits, Mr. Damien."
"One thing puzzles me."
"Yes. What is that?"
"The way you use up, or should I say waste, hired people."
"You've made a dull day brighter."
"I come to Hawaii for a holiday and find myself challenged to some monstrous battle of wits."
"Don't forget that this my rock you're on, Mr. Damien."
"One last thing. Remember, the mongoose always wins."
Arnie and Millie return to the alley and pick up some more spilled coins,
then an old man and his grandson come by.
The grandson picks up a coin and hands it to his grandfather, who says,
"1913, that's the year I was born".
36. Child and grandfather find the nickel
"Look, Grandpa, money."
"That's the year I was born."
Millie hears this and the pair follow them.
They head to a store where the child buys some candy.
37. Child buys candy
38. Millie and Arnie watch the store
A woman gets some change and the pair watch her possibly put it into a vending machine.
39. Woman and vending machine
Arnie asks Millie to put other coins into the machine hoping to pop out the nickel,
while Arnie follows the woman to a restaurant.
but it does not contain the nickel.
40. Arnie and Millie in the bar
They are wearing matching green outfits.
The bartender gives them change on the table, and the 1913 nickel is there.
41. Change on the table
The nickel is joined by a 1968 silver Kennedy half dollar, still in circulation then.
42. Found it!
They wonder where the nickel came from and a man from the store who must have had it.
They finish their drinks, and walk out.
43. Arnie busted
Arnie is taken to police headquarters and then to McGarrett's office.
44. Police headquarters
45. McGarrett talks to Arnie
McGarrett tells Arnie that although he is "small time", he is in "big trouble",
but "lucky" as the vendor who was shot has survived and Arnie won't face a murder charge.
46. Arnie hands over the nickel
McGarrett persuades Arnie to call Damien and set up a meeting.
Damien has a "mobile phone" in a suitcase.
47. The mobile phone
The flashing red light means it is on.
Arnie shows up and is ordered into the car.
Damien asks for and receives Arnie's nickel.
Damien notices Officer Chin following him in a car.
48. Officer Chin Ho follows the car
Paul is driving the car with Damien and Millie.
49. Millie, Damien, and Paul in the car
Damien has a clock attached to a time bomb in his mobile phone suitcase, and he turns it on.
50. Damien turns on the time bomb
Damien then has the car stopped and he gets out.
Arnie grabs hold of Paul and they struggle, causing the car to swerve around.
51. Arnie and Paul fight over car
They were headed for the same place that they had lunch at the beginning, but go into the water.
52. Car in the water
The three are slightly injured, McGarrett and his crew pull up and take them into custody.
The car bomb explodes.
53. Car explodes
Millie and Arnie have some blood and Millie, realizing that he saved her life from Damien's killer,
says "Arnie, I love you".
54. "I love you, Arnie"
McGarrett and his crew head for Damien's house and arrest him.
Damien hands the nickel he got from Arnie over to McGarrett.
55. Damien hands over the nickel
"I'm afraid your plane will be leaving without you, Mr. Damien,"
"but there will be another one along in 20 years."
"I presume you'll be wanting this."
"This isn't worth a plugged nickel."
Damien gives McGarrett the nickel, but McGarrett says it is worthless,
and uses sleight-of-hand to pluck the real nickel from Damien's ear.
56. McGarrett finds the real nickel
"This is the one we're looking for."
Jack Lord as Detective Steve McGarrett
James MacArthur as Dan Williams
Hildy Brooks as Millie Price
Eugene Troobnick as Arnie Price
Victor Buono as Eric Damien
Writers: Leonard Freeman, Dick Nelson