The Shield nickel was the first five-cent piece to be officially referred to as a nickel. It was minted from 1866-1883. The Shield nickel was designed by James B. Longacre. Its design consisted of a shield on the obverse, which is where it got its name, and the reverse depicted the value of the coin. The Shield nickel is composed of a copper- nickel alloy, in fact this was the first five-cent piece that was made out of this alloy. Specifically, the shield nickel was 75% copper and 25% nickel.
Shield Nickel Value
The Shield nickel’s appeal does not come from its silver content, because now we know there is no silver in them. The appeal comes from their advanced age and the remaining well kept and rare editions of the coin. Some of the key dates of the Shield nickel are 1879, 1880, 1881. For a five-cent piece, these editions can cost quite a bit. There are also another two editions of the Shield that are unique from the rest, they are 1877 and 1878, these editions are proof coins only. Shield Nickels can cost anywhere from $20 to tens of thousands, depending once again on the mintage, year, grade, and mint mark.
Where to get Shield Nickels
You can get you Shield nickels at Bullion Shark in a variety of forms such as circulated, inexpensive specimens, to graded, expensive specimens. We carry a full line of PCGS and NGC graded Shield Nickels as well as uncertified ones for the collector.