1866 Shield Nickel With Rays Image
SHIELD FIVE CENTS (1866-1883)
Facts:
The first "Nickel" was minted in 1866 named so because of the metal content and not the denomination. The term Nickel is now synonymous with a coin worth Five Cents.

SPECIFICATIONS:
Designer: James B. Longacre

Diameter: 20.5 millimeters

Metal content:
Copper - 75%
Nickel - 25%

Weight: 5 grams

Edge: Plain

Mint mark: None (for Philadelphia)


SHIELD NICKEL (1866-1867)
(ebay coin auctions by date)

1866
1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
1872
1873
1874
1875
1876
1877
1878
1879
1880
1881
1882
1883

Cherry Picker's List:

There are so many die varieties of the 5 Cents, Shield Nickel they are too numerous to list here. However, they deserve a brief mention, so look for broken date numerals, double dies, misplaced dates, over dates, and repunched dates; spanning all years 1868-1883.

Below are but a few examples varieties along with the key dates:
1866 Rays
1867 Rays
1869 Tall Date
1870         
1871
1872 Triple die obverse
1872 Small date over large date
1876 Triple die obverse
1877 Proof-only date.
1878 Proof-only date
1879 1879/8 over date on Proofs
1879         
1880         
1883 1883/2 over date on circulation strikes
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1876 Shield Nickel Image
Reverse With Rays
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