1866 5C Five Cents, Judd-461, Pollock-535, R.5

The obverse features a bust of Washington facing right with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around and the date below. The reverse displays the denomination centered in a laurel wreath, with the motto IN GOD WE TRUST above. Struck in nickel with a plain edge. A relatively obtainable Washington head pattern with an estimated three dozen or so known in all grades.

PR66 $3,220.00 (Jan 7, 2009 HA.com)
1866 5C Five Cents, Judd-470, Pollock-562, Low R.6

On the obverse, a bust of George Washington faces right, the legend IN GOD WE TRUST above and the date below. A wreath of laurel on the reverse encloses the so-called Short 5 with the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around. Struck in nickel with a plain edge.

PR65 Cameo $2,760.00 (Oct 22, 2009 HA.com)
1866 5C Five Cents, Judd-462, Pollock-536, Low R.7

The obverse features a portrait of Washington facing right with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around and the date below. The reverse has the denomination 5 CENTS centered in a laurel wreath, with the motto IN GOD WE TRUST above. Struck in copper with a plain edge.

The base of an errant 1 shows to the left of the date on all examples seen of this issue. USPatterns.com estimates a population of fewer than a dozen pieces extant. An early appearance of Judd-462 was in the Parmelee Sale (New York Coin & Stamp, 6/1890), lot 163. The cataloger mistakenly identified that specimen as a bronze piece.

PR63 Brown $3,220.00 (Jan 6, 2009 HA.com) - PR64 Red and Brown $3,450.00 (Mar 28, 2009 HA.com)
1866 5C Five Cents, Judd-465, Pollock-559, R.8

The obverse features the familiar bust of Washington facing right, with IN GOD WE TRUST above and the date below. The reverse displays a "crooked" or "Dutch" style 5, centered in a laurel wreath, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around. Struck in copper with a plain edge.

A popular design, with companion patterns in nickel and bronze. This issue is exceedingly rare in copper. A search of auction records reveals that Heritage has not auctioned an example of Judd-465 in the last decade. This particular coin was auctioned in a Stack's sale in 1992, where the catalogers noted, "An ultra-rare pattern with no traceable auction records in this century."

PR64 Red and Brown $16,100.00 (Jan 6, 2009 HA.com)
1866 5C Five Cents, Judd-469, Pollock-561, Low R.7

The obverse showcases the popular bust of Washington facing right, with IN GOD WE TRUST above and the date below. The reverse shows a tall 5 centered in a rather sparse laurel wreath, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around. Struck in bronze with a plain edge.

This example represents one of the many Washington five cent patterns of 1866. Washingtonia was a very popular numismatic specialty in the mid-19th century. Robert Coulton Davis listed this pattern as number 217 in his seminal work on patterns in The Coin Collector's Journal.

PR64 Red and Brown $4,025.00 (Jan 6, 2009 HA.com)
1866 5C Five Cents, Judd-473, Pollock-564, Low R.6

Obverse: Washington portrait facing right, with IN GOD WE TRUST above and date below. Reverse: Regular With Rays design adopted for the year. Struck in nickel with a plain edge.

Washingtonia was one of the most popular areas of American numismatics during the middle part of the 19th century. This popularity is reflected in the number of Washington patterns created for the new five cent coin in 1866. Including off-metal issues, 40 different patterns were produced.

PR64 $2,990.00 (Jan 6, 2009 HA.com)
1866 5C Five Cents, Judd-481, Pollock-571, Low R.7

A head of Washington faces right on the obverse, with the date below and GOD AND OUR COUNTRY around. The final 6 in the date is much larger than the first 6 and is apparently recut at least once. The reverse has a large 5 within a laurel wreath with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around. Struck in nickel with a plain edge.

There are probably 10 to 12 examples of Judd-481 known. The die pairing is also known in copper (Judd-482) with about five or six known. This pattern issue was undoubtedly struck for sale to collectors, given the extreme interest in all things Washington during the 1860s.

Spot Removed--NCS--Proof $1,610.00 (Jan 6, 2009 HA.com)
1866 5C Five Cents, Judd-519, Pollock-546, R.8

Obverse: Washington portrait facing left with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around and date below. Reverse: the Without Rays dies adopted for regular-issue coinage in 1867. Struck in brass with a plain edge.

The muling of these dies resulted in the curious display of the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA on both sides of the coin. The coin was struck outside the Mint from genuine dies. The issue was unknown to R.C. Davis when he published his research in The Coin Collector's Journal, and USPatterns.com believes the coin to be unique in brass.

Physical Description. The coin is struck on a nonstandard planchet. It has a diameter of 21 mm, a thickness of 3 mm, and weighs 115.4 grains.

PR64 $29,900.00 (Jan 6, 2009 HA.com)
1866 5C Five Cents, Judd-521, Pollock-549, R.8

A fantastic muling of two obverse dies, originally used on Judd-461 and Judd-464, to create a two-headed coin. Obverse: Portrait of Washington, with the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around, and the date below. Reverse: Bust of Washington, with the motto IN GOD WE TRUST above, and the date below. Struck slightly off-center, in silver, with a plain edge.

This extremely rare issue was struck from genuine Mint dies, but was almost certainly not struck in the Mint. Specimens of this design have been reported on nonstandard planchets in a bewildering variety of metals. The present coin has a diameter of 0.850 inches, far larger than a standard nickel (0.808 inches-0.811 inches). The large diameter and the slightly off-center strike of this example indicate that it was not struck with a close collar. Since close collar technology was used for all issues at the Mint in 1866, it is most unlikely that the coin was produced there. In addition, the use of an expensive metal, like silver, to test the dies for a nickel coin was not standard Mint procedure.

The collector most often associated with unofficial restrikes using Mint dies was Joseph Mickley, because a number of these dies were seized by the government at the posthumous sale of his collection (Mason, 11/1878), lot 917. Mickley may have been the person responsible for producing the present coin, but there is room for doubt. The dies used to strike the present issue were absent from among those seized at the Mickley sale. Dr. George Fuld relates that the dies used for this mule were donated to the Boston Numismatic Society sometime between 1869 and 1878 (see The Numismatist, 5/1998). Mickley may or may not have been the donor. Fuld reports that the dies were destroyed only in 1956, affording ample opportunity for someone other than Mickley to make the restrikes. An example was sold in the Crosby Collection (Haseltine, 6/1883), lot 1776. Sylvester S. Crosby had close ties to the Boston Numismatic Society, making him a viable candidate for restrike honors. Whoever produced the restrikes made only a few of them. Experts can account for only three survivors today.

PR61 $23,000.00 (Jan 6, 2009 HA.com)
Washington Nickel Patterns
Source for information and pictures courtesy of  Heritage Coin Auctions
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