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Shield Nickels (1866 - 1883)

The Shield Nickel was made possible by the Act of May 16, 1866 and replaces the 5-cent notes. The new five cent coin was designed by Longacre. It is made of 25% nickel and 75% copper. This created the unusual situation where two coins of the same value circulated simultaneously - the Shield nickel and Half dime.  In order to promote the new coin, and also because of the availability of nickel and copper compared to the higher cost of silver for Half Dimes, a huge quantity of nearly 15 million new nickels was produced in the 1st year.

The design of the Shield nickel was similar to that of the Two-cent coin. On the obverse, Longacre placed a shield, with the motto IN GOD WE TRUST above. The date was below. On the reverse, the number "5" for denomination was surrounded by 13 stars and 13 rays. Around the rim, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and CENTS were inscripted. Since the rays between the stars impaired the coins' striking quality, the rays were eliminated later in 1867 creating two varieties: With Rays and No Rays. Striking problems persisted, resulting in a series of coins noted for inconsistent strikes and lots of die cracks.

Buy Shield Nickels from Executive Coin Company, one of the top coin dealers in United States who offers a variety of Shield nickels in different grades and condition. Our selection includes the 1867 With Rays and the 1867 No rays, the 1881 key date, and other high grade shield nickels. All nickels we offer are expertly photographed with great care and accuracy to help you make the best choice for your collection! Check out our online selection below.

   1866 Shield Nickel Rays Nice BU Details Nice Luster $240.00
   1868 Shield Nickel Nice AU Obverse Doubling $95.00
   1869 Shield Nickel Nice VF Nice Color Some Spots Reverse $33.00
   1869 Shield Nickel Nice Unc Detail Great Color A Couple of Spots Nice Strike $115.00
   1869 Shield Nickel Nice BU Details Nice Luster Nice Strike $115.00
   1871 Shield Nickel Nice BU Nice Strike $475.00
   1872 Shield Nickel Nice F+ Nice Eye Appeal $80.00
   1879 Shield Nickel Proof CAC Sticker NGC PF66 Fantastic Luster Nice Strike $1,110.00
   1881 Shield Nickel NGC PF66 Full Luster Strong Strike Beautiful Coin $750.00
   1882 Shield Nickel Nice BU Nice Eye Appeal Nice Luster Nice Strike $115.00
   1882 Shield Nickel Nice BU+ Great Eye Appeal Nice Luster Nice Strike $170.00
   1882 Shield Nickel PCGS PR65 CAC Sticker Great Eye Appeal Fantastic Luster $580.00
   1883 Shield Nickel Choice BU Wonderfully Original Fresh and Crispy Great Skin $130.00
   1883 Shield Nickel PCGS PR65 Proof Wonderfully Original Great Eye Appeal $515.00
   1883 Shield Nickel NGC PF66 Superb Eye Appeal $820.00
   1886 Shield Nickel Choice G/VG Key Date Great Eye Appeal Nice Strike $240.00