1876 Shield Nickel Grades G6

Coin Grade:

Frequently Asked Questions

Commonly asked questions and answers.
What is the composition of the United States Nickel?
The United States Nickel, commonly known as the five-cent coin, is composed of a combination of 75% copper and 25% nickel. This composition has been in use since 1866, with some variations during World War II when nickel was needed for the war effort. The current nickel alloy provides durability and a distinctive silver appearance.
Who is depicted on the United States Nickel?
The obverse (front) side of the United States Nickel features a portrait of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, who served from 1801 to 1809. The design is based on an 1800 Rembrandt Peale portrait of Jefferson. The reverse (back) side has gone through various designs over the years, with the current design showcasing Monticello, Jefferson's Virginia estate.
Are there any valuable or rare Nickels?
While most Nickels in circulation are worth their face value, there are a few valuable and rare varieties to look out for. One example is the 1937-D Three-Legged Buffalo Nickel, which shows a weakened or missing leg on the buffalo due to an overpolished die. This variety is highly sought after by collectors. Additionally, certain dates, mint marks, and special editions, such as the wartime Silver Nickels minted from 1942 to 1945, can have higher numismatic value.
Why was the Shield Nickel introduced?
The Shield Nickel was introduced as a replacement for the Half Dime, which was a smaller silver coin. The need for a new design arose due to the insufficient durability of the Half Dime in circulation. The introduction of the Shield Nickel allowed for a larger, more durable coin with a composition of 75% copper and 25% nickel.
Are there any notable varieties or rare Shield Nickels?
Yes, there are some notable varieties and rare Shield Nickels that collectors seek. One of the most famous is the 1866 With Rays variety, which features additional rays around the stars on the reverse side. This variety was produced for a short period before the rays were removed to simplify the design. Additionally, there are variations in the placement of the motto "In God We Trust," such as the 1866 and 1867 nickels having the motto on a banner above the shield, while later years have it within the ribbon of the shield.
What makes the Shield Nickel significant in the history of U.S. coinage?
The Shield Nickel holds historical significance as it was one of the first nickel coins produced by the United States Mint. It represented a shift towards using nickel as a more durable and cost-effective alternative to silver for lower-denomination coins. The introduction of the Shield Nickel marked an important transition in U.S. coinage, paving the way for future nickel coinage and demonstrating the Mint's ability to adapt to changing needs and advancements in metallurgy.

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