US Nickel Five-Cent Coins (1866-1913)

US Shield Nickel, V Nickel - Numismatic Information, Coin Values and Images, page 1

This page describes all types of the US 5-Cent Coins and Nickels, and includes their specifics, mintage records, key dates with coin values (in G-4 and EF-40 conditions) and images of a few types (not all) that were recovered at various locations in the North-East USA.

SHIELD TYPE 1866 - 1883

VARIETY 1 - Rays Between Stars on the Reverse, 1866 - 1867


Shield Nickel 5 Cents with Rays


In Dug Condition

1866 Shield Nickel with Rays

Specifics:

Diameter: 20.5 mm
Weight: 5 grams or 77.16 grains
Edge: Plain
Composition: 75% copper, 25% nickel
Quantity minted: 14,950,000
Proofs minted: Record incomplete
Mint: Philadelphia
Mint marks: None
Designers: James Longacre

Key Dates and Coin Values:

• 1866 Repunched date; G-4: $40.00, EF-40: $200.00
Average coin values of other dates: G-4 - $15.00, EF-40 - $120.00


VARIETY 2 - Without Rays, 1867 - 1883


US Shield Nickel 5 Cents

Specifics:

Diameter: 20.5 mm
Weight: 5 grams or 77.16 grains
Edge: Plain
Composition: 75% copper, 25% nickel
Quantity minted: 111,413,949
Proofs minted: 23,099
Mint: Philadelphia
Mint marks: None
Designers: James Longacre

Key Dates and Coin Values:

• 1871; G-4: $28.00, EF-40: $100.00
• 1873 Closed 3; G-4: $12.00, EF-40: $80.00
• 1875; G-4: $13.00, EF-40: $45.00
• 1877 Proofs only (510+); EF-40: $1,100
• 1878 Proofs only (2,350); EF-40: $525.00
• 1879 All and 9 over 8; G-4: $235.00, EF-40: $450.00
• 1880; G-4: $275.00, EF-40: $550.00
• 1881; G-4: $150.00, EF-40: $350.00
• 1883 3 over 2; G-4: $85.00, EF-40: $200.00
Average coin values of other dates: G-4 - $12.00, EF-40 - $40.00

LIBERTY HEAD TYPE 1883 - 1912

VARIETY 1 - Without CENTS, 1883 only

Specifics:

Diameter: 21.2 mm
Weight: 5 grams or 77.16 grains
Edge: Plain
Composition: 75% copper, 25% nickel
Quantity minted: 5,479,519
Proofs minted: 5,219
Mint: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco
Mint marks: None
Designers: Charles E. Barber

REVERSE: The absence of the word CENTS on the reverse of this nickel caused it to become the most famous of misdesigned and misused coins. Racketeer Nickels got their name from being gold-plated and passed as Half Eagles. Nothing on the piece gave a hint as to its denomination.


VARIETY 2 - With CENTS, 1883 - 1913

1912D Liberty Nickel Variety 2

Specifics:

Diameter: 21.2 mm
Weight: 5 grams or 77.16 grains
Edge: Plain
Composition: 75% copper, 25% nickel
Quantity minted: 99,197,920
Proofs minted: 79,921
Mint: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco
Mint marks: S and D (1912 only)
Designers: Charles E. Barber

Mint Mark Location

Liberty Head Nickel Mint Mark Location


Key Dates and Coin Values:

• 1885; G-4: $250.00, EF-40: $600.00
• 1886; G-4: $85.00, EF-40: $300.00
• 1894; G-4: $8.00, EF-40: $150.00
• 1912S; G-4: $45.00, EF-40: $475.00
• 1913 Liberty Head (5 known); 2001 Auction - $1,840,000
Average coin values of other dates: G-4 - $6.00, EF-40 - $35.00

The story behind the 1913 Liberty Head nickel is one laced in mystery. A coin has passed through the hands of the lowly to the collection of a king to become a million-dollar collectible. To date, no one knows for certain why or when the coins were produced, though Samuel Brown, a former Mint employee, is most often charged with the unauthorized minting.


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Sources: Encyclopedia Of U.S. Coins by Mort Reed and The Official Red Book of United States Coins by R.S. Yeoman.