Lot Number:1
Start Time:5/30/2024 4:00:00 AM
End Time:6/16/2024 10:00:00 PM
Bid Count:22
Current High Bidder:R****d
Starting Bid:$1.00
Bid Increment:$6.50
Current Bid:$207.50

The Shield nickel, minted from 1866 to 1883, was a significant piece of American coinage for a number of reasons. Here's a more detailed breakdown:

  • First copper-nickel five-cent piece: Prior to the Shield nickel, five-cent pieces were made from silver and known as half dimes. The Shield nickel's introduction marked a shift to the copper-nickel alloy that remains the standard for nickels today.
  • Historical context: Issued shortly after the Civil War, the Shield nickel's design featured a shield on the obverse (heads side) symbolizing the nation's reunification and perseverance.
  • Nickels get their name: The Shield nickel was the first five-cent piece to be popularly called a "nickel." Previously, the term "nickel" had referred to similar coins made from nickel-copper but valued at three cents.
  • Design features and challenges: Designed by James B. Longacre, the Shield nickel incorporated elements from his two-cent pieces. The reverse (tails side) initially featured a large numeral "5" within a circle of stars and rays, but the rays were eliminated in 1867 due to minting difficulties. These difficulties resulted in many minor variations that are of interest to collectors today.
  • Legacy: The Shield nickel was eventually replaced by the Liberty Head nickel in 1883, but it left a lasting legacy as the first U.S. five-cent piece made from the familiar copper-nickel alloy and the one that cemented the term "nickel" for the denomination.
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