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V Nickel History

v-nickel-obverse.pngv-nickel-reverse.png

The V nickel came to be because of the problems the mint was having with its predecessor, the Shield nickel. The V nickel got its name from its reverse design which depicts the roman numeral V, which means five, for its five cent value. The V was surrounded by a wreath, arching across the top of the reverse was “United States of America”, and curving across the bottom was the phrase “E Pluribus Unum”. The V nickel’s obverse contained the left facing head of liberty surrounded by 13 stars. Shortly after release the word “Cents” was place at the bottom and the phrase “ E Pluribus Unum” was moved above the V.

These V nickels are very popular amongst collectors, some uncirculated editions costing from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Although there is no silver content in the V nickels, they remain popular due to their age and rarity of the well preserved coins. 

The V nickel was minted from 1889-1913, it was minted in Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. However, in 1912, the V Nickels were only produced at the Denver and San Francisco mints. Each V Nickel's mint mark can be found on the reverse lower left hand side of the coin. There are very few known V nickels that were minted in 1913 this particular coin is extremely expensive!  

The V Nickel is composed of 75% copper and 25% nickel. Some of the key dates in the V Nickel series are as follows:

-1885 V Nickel

-1886 V Nickel

-1912-S V Nickel

-1913 V Nickel (supposedly a mint employee struck five of these coins)

V Nickel Mintages and Values

Date Mintage Good Very Fine Extremely Fine Uncirculated
1883 V Nickel (No CENTS) 5,474,300 $8.00 $11.00 $15.00 $35.00
1883 V Nickel (With Cents) 16,026,000 $30.00 $55.00 $85.00 $150.00
1884 V Nickel 11,270,000 $30.00 $55.00 $85.00 $190.00
1885 V Nickel 1,473,300 $550.00 $1,000.00 $1,200.00 $2,000.00
1886 V Nickel 3,326,000 $265.00 $500.00 $700.00 $1,200.00
1887 V Nickel 15,260,692 $20.00 $50.00 $75.00 $140.00
1888 V Nickel 10,715,901 $40.00 $120.00 $175.00 $275.00
1889 V Nickel 15,878,025 $20.00 $50.00 $75.00 $140.00
1890 V Nickel 16,256,532 $20.00 $40.00 $65.00 $160.00
1891 V Nickel 16,832,000 $12.00 $45.00 $70.00 $160.00
1892 V Nickel 11,696,897 $10.00 $40.00 $65.00 $140.00
1893 V Nickel 13,368,000 $6.00 $40.00 $65.00 $140.00
1894 V Nickel 5,410,500 $35.00 $165.00 $225.00 $350.00
1895 V Nickel 9,977,822 $8.00 $45.00 $70.00 $140.00
1896 V Nickel 8,841,048 $18.00 $65.00 $90.00 $190.00
1897 V Nickel 20,426,797 $5.00 $27.00 $45.00 $100.00
1898 V Nickel 12,530,292 $5.00 $27.00 $45.00 $150.00
1899 V Nickel 26,027,000 $3.00 $20.00 $30.00 $90.00
1900 V Nickel 27,253,733 $3.00 $15.00 $30.00 $90.00
1901 V Nickel 26,478,228 $3.00 $15.00 $30.00 $85.00
1902 V Nickel 31,487,581 $3.00 $15.00 $30.00 $85.00
1903 V Nickel 28,004,930 $3.00 $15.00 $30.00 $85.00
1904 V Nickel 21,403,167 $3.00 $15.00 $30.00 $85.00
1905 V Nickel 29,825,124 $3.00 $15.00 $30.00 $85.00
1906 V Nickel 38,612,000 $3.00 $15.00 $30.00 $85.00
1907 V Nickel 39,213,325 $3.00 $15.00 $30.00 $85.00
1908 V Nickel 22,684,557 $3.00 $15.00 $30.00 $85.00
1909 V Nickel 11,585,763 $4.00 $18.00 $35.00 $100.00
1910 V Nickel 30,166,948 $3.00 $15.00 $30.00 $85.00
1911 V Nickel 39,557,639 $3.00 $15.00 $30.00 $85.00
1912 V Nickel 26,234,569 $3.00 $15.00 $30.00 $85.00
1912-D V Nickel 8,474,000 $4.00 $40.00 $90.00 $300.00
1912-S V Nickel 238,000 $155.00 $450.00 $850.00 $1,500.00

*Source 2020 Red Book