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1883 to 1913 Liberty Head Nickels

The Liberty Head Nickel, sometimes referred to as the "V" nickel due to its reverse design. Liberty Head nickels were minted from 1883 to 1912. However, a few patterns were struck in 1881 and 1882, and five pieces were secretly struck in 1913, which today number among the most famous numismatic rarity.

Controversy marked both the birth and the demise of the Liberty Head nickel. There's no disputing one thing, though: This is a coin with exceptional appeal for collectors.

In early 1883, the Liberty Head nickel was first struck for circulation. The first 5.4 million pieces struck contained the Roman numeral "V" on the reverse, but did not contain the word "CENTS".

Con artists quickly noted this, as well as the fact that the coin was roughly the same size as a five-dollar gold coin, and began gold-plating the new nickels and attempting to pass them as 5 dollar gold pieces. The Mint decided to add the word "CENTS" to the reverse design of the Liberty Head nickel in the middle of the 1883 striking.

1909 Liberty Head Nickel      1909 Liberty Head Nickel

1909 Liberty Head Nickel

1883 Liberty Head Nickel 1883 Liberty Head Nickel

1883 Liberty Head Nickel

Liberty Head nickels were struck every year from 1883 to 1912. Most were struck at the main U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, but in 1912 the Denver and San Francisco mints also produced the coins. Five 1913 Liberty Head were reported to have been made by a U.S. Mint employee and were discovered in 1920. Today, one of the coins reside in Smithsonian and one is in the American Numismatic Association's Money Museum. The other three are in private collections.

The best place to purchase Liberty Head Nickels is at eBay. Most of these coins are expensive in the better grades and rare years. However, if you just want one or two for your collection look for Liberty Head Nickels dated from about 1883 to 1912 in the grades of very good and fine. You should be able to find a nice specimen for your collection in the $10.00 range.

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