BrianRxm Coins on Television 10/24
Hawaii Five-O - The $100,000 Nickel (1973)
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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.
 
"Hawaii Five-O" ran from 1968 to 1980.
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.
 
This episode is titled "The $100,000 Nickel" and was first broadcast on December 11, 1973.
 
The episode story was about a master criminal who organizes the theft of an extremely rare
1913 Liberty Head nickel.
 
The episode showed one of the real 1913 nickels along with with a copy.
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 real nickel is known as the "Olsen" specimen; a Fred Olsen was one of the owners.
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.
 
The episode depicted a coin show in 1973, before professional grading services became popular
and when coin dealers wore suits.
 
The show credited two rare coin dealers at the end:
Rare Coins courtesy of ....
United National Coin Corporation, Beverly Hills, California
World Wide Coin Investments, Limited, Atlanta, Georgia
 
Forty years of inflation have increased the prices of the rare coins in this show, 1913 Liberty nickels
have sold for several million dollars in recent years.
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
1. Title
 
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".
 
He has landed in Hawaii with an assistant, a hired killer named Paul Anthony.
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.
 
The first scenes alternate between a forger creating a fake nickel and a coin show.
 
Hawaii Five-O 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.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
3. Hotel welcome sign
 
The sign reads:
Welcome, Numismatists
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'.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
5. Coin dealer Haviland and police escort
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
6. The fake 1913 Liberty Head nickel
 
At the hotel the dealer has the coin placed in the hotel safe overnight.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
7. The dealer hands the coin to the hotel safe manager
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
8. The real 1913 Liberty Head nickel
 
The coin forger Andecker is bragging about his work to someone, and asking for his $1,000.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
9. Forger Andecker holding the fake nickel
 
The other person has a gun, this looks bad for Andecker.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
11. Program title
 
Hawaii Five-O officers McGarrett and Dan arrive to investigate the shooting.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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".
 
Arnie Price, a former carnival worker, is being held in jail for running a booth where he used
sleight-of-hand techniques to trick customers out of currency bills by swapping low bills for high ones.
Arnie is bailed out by Paul.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
13. Arnie being bailed out of jail
 
Paul drives Arnie to a beachfront where he meets his wife Millie.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
14. Millie and Arnie
 
Arnie and Millie meet the "Mr. Big" of the operation.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
15. Eric Damien
 
Damien and Paul invite the couple to a beachfront lunch.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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.
 
Damien wants Arnie to go to a coin show and auction, and swap a fake nickel
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.
 
Damien promises to pay Arnie $10,000 for the job.
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.
 
Back at the hotel coin show, the real nickel is put into a hotel safe.
A series of rare American coin obverses and reverses are shown, with their values.
Here are two of them:
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
17. Gold Stella four-dollar 1879 obverse
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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
 
Arnie and Millie arrive at the coin show, Arnie meets the dealer, his credentials as a
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.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
19. Arnie looks at the nickel
 
Millie shows a bit of leg to distract the dealer, and Arnie makes the switch.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
20. Distraction
 
Arnie does the coin swap.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
21. The swap
 
Arnie walks through the show bourse (sales area) after completing the swap.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
24. Newspaper racks
 
Arnie deposits the real coin into a newspaper rack.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
25. The nickel goes in
 
The coin shown is a 1910 nickel.
 
McGarrett talks to the dealer, who is upset at losing such a rare coin.
The dealer gives a list of names of people who handled the coin to McGarrett.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
26. McGarrett and dealer
 
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."
 
McGarrett:
"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.
 
Arnie and Millie watch the newspaper rack and finally the vendor shows up and
opens the newspaper rack to retrieve the coins.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
27. Vendor opening newspaper rack
 
He opens the rack and loads the change into a cloth bag, which he takes to his car.
 
Meanwhile, McGarrett receives a report that one of the people who handled the coin
was using false identification.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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.
 
Arnie and Millie follow the news vendor to an alley where Arnie runs up and grabs the bag.
The vendor pulls a gun and they struggle, with the vendor getting shot.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
29. Arnie fighting with the vendor
 
The coin bag spills the coins onto the street.
 
Arnie wants to stay and pick up the coins but Millie is urging him to leave before somebody
reports the gunshot and the police arrive.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
31. McGarrett receives the news
 
McGarrett:
"And you checked Haviland's insurance company?"
 
Officer:
"Yes, no one's contacted them."
 
McGarrett:
"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.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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.
 
McGarrett believes that the Andecker killing was connected with the fake coin.
He and Dan learn of the vendor shooting for $50 in change and connect this to the coin.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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.
 
He calls Hans Vogler of Interpol in Zurich, and receives a photograph of Damien.
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".
 
He pays a visit to Damien to "welcome" him to the islands.
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.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
34. Damien finds unexpected guest McGarrett
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
35. Damien and McGarrett trade quips
 
Damien:
"Well, what did you expect to find?"
 
McGarrett:
"A nickel, just a nickel."
"Or maybe a clue or two regarding the death of an engraver."
"Am I getting through?"
 
Damien:
"Naturally, I'm spellbound."
 
McGarrett:
"I feel like a mongoose watching a cobra."
"I've been reading up on your international exploits, Mr. Damien."
"One thing puzzles me."
 
Damien:
"Yes. What is that?"
 
McGarrett:
"The way you use up, or should I say waste, hired people."
 
Damien:
"You've made a dull day brighter."
"I come to Hawaii for a holiday and find myself challenged to some monstrous battle of wits."
 
McGarrett:
"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".
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
36. Child and grandfather find the nickel
 
Child:
"Look, Grandpa, money."
 
Grandpa:
"Nickel, 1913."
"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.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
37. Child buys candy
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
38. Millie and Arnie watch the store
 
A woman gets some change and the pair watch her possibly put it into a vending machine.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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.
 
A thief steals the woman's purse, Arnie chases the thief, recovers the purse,
but it does not contain the nickel.
 
Millie reports that the vending machine didn't have it either, and the pair give up and head for a bar.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
40. Arnie and Millie in the bar
 
They are wearing matching green outfits.
 
Arnie orders two drinks, "Scotch on the rocks", for $1.30 and pays $2.00.
The bartender gives them change on the table, and the 1913 nickel is there.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
41. Change on the table
 
The nickel is joined by a 1968 silver Kennedy half dollar, still in circulation then.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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.
 
A police car pulls up and the police arrest Arnie for the shooting.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
43. Arnie busted
 
Arnie is taken to police headquarters and then to McGarrett's office.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
44. Police headquarters
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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.
 
McGarrett also lets Arnie know about Damien's penchant for eliminating people who work for him.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
46. Arnie hands over the nickel
 
McGarrett persuades Arnie to call Damien and set up a meeting.
 
Damien and his man have kidnapped Millie and the three are riding in a car.
Damien has a "mobile phone" in a suitcase.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
47. The mobile phone
 
The flashing red light means it is on.
 
Damien takes the call and proposes that they meet at a cement plant.
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.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
48. Officer Chin Ho follows the car
 
Paul is driving the car with Damien and Millie.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
50. Damien turns on the time bomb
 
Damien then has the car stopped and he gets out.
 
Paul is driving the car and he fires a pistol at Chin's car.
Arnie grabs hold of Paul and they struggle, causing the car to swerve around.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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".
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
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.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
55. Damien hands over the nickel
 
McGarrett:
"I'm afraid your plane will be leaving without you, Mr. Damien,"
"but there will be another one along in 20 years."
 
Damien:
"I presume you'll be wanting this."
 
McGarrett:
"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.
 
Hawaii Five-O Nickel
56. McGarrett finds the real nickel
 
McGarrett:
"This is the one we're looking for."
 
McGarrett gives the final line:
"Book them!"
Notes:
 
Cast:
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
 
Director: Allen Reisner
Writers: Leonard Freeman, Dick Nelson
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