Liberty Nickel (1883 – 1913)

#1 Liberty Nickel Buyer Las Vegas & Henderson

History

Owing to long-standing production problems with the previous Shield nickel series, the United States Mint was interested in replacing it. The Mint’s Chief Engraver of the time, Charles Barber, was instructed to prepare designs for one, three and five cent pieces. Only the five cent piece was approved and the “Liberty Head” Five Cent coin was produced. For almost the entire thirty year period of the coin’s circulation, several millions of coins were minted making it the most popular nickel series to date. Because of the introduction of coin-operated machines, the nickel was especially popular. The Liberty Head design was to be replaced by the even more popular, “Buffalo” nickel in 1913, and so no Liberty Head coins were to have been minted in that year. However, at least five of the nickels were surreptitiously struck and have become some of the greatest rarities and most expensive coins ever collected, with one example selling for $4.5 million in 2018. The Liberty Head was also known as the “Racketeer” nickel, because the design closely resembled that of the five dollar gold piece in circulation at the same time and the original reverse of the nickel had just a Roman numeral, “V” without other denomination indicated. As a consequence, unscrupulous individuals were known to have the nickels gold-plated and pass them off to an unsuspecting public as five dollar gold coins. As a result, the reverse design was changed during its first year of production to add the word, “Cents”.

The Liberty Head five cent nickel, was first issued in 1883 and continued until 1913, (although as mentioned, the 1913 dated coins should not have existed). The nickel was minted at the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco mints. The obverse of the coin displays an image of Liberty wearing a coronet with the word “Liberty” across it, her hair up and affixed in a bun, much like the gold coins of the period. The nickel was also similar in size to the five dollar gold piece, which led to the aforementioned Racketeer nickel. Thirteen stars representing the original thirteen colonies surround Liberty’s head and the date of mintage appears below her head at the bottom of the coin. The reverse of the coin displays a large Roman numeral “V” surrounded by a wreath tied at the bottom with a ribbon. The words, “United States Of America”, encircle the wreath and the motto, “E Pluribus Unum”, appears at the bottom of the coin. Later, in the first year of mintage, the motto was removed and the word, “Cents” was substituted in order to clarify the denomination of the coin. The five cent piece weighs 5 grams with a composition of 75% copper and 25% nickel. The diameter of the coin throughout the series was 21.2 mm.

Value

Notwithstanding the non-circulating 1913 dated coin, most of the Liberty Head series is reasonably obtainable with common date examples in good condition costing between $2 and $10, (well worn examples however may only be purchased for two to three times face value from a dealer). Collectors can usually purchase most of these same common date coins in high mint state for between $100 and $200. There are three key-dates to the series, the 1885, 1886 and 1912 S. In mint state these coins are valued well in excess of $2,000 each.
Because there are so many varied opinions on the condition (or grade) of a coin, the aforementioned values reflect the highest retail prices that have been obtained for those coins that have been assessed by a third party grading company. Such coins have been authenticated, graded and encapsulated by expert coin grading companies to minimize any doubt as to their quality and value and therefore their potential worth.

We Buy Liberty Head Five Cent Coins

We want to buy your coins and as a business it is our pledge to offer you the best value for your coins, however, always remember that the prices you may find online or in price guides usually represent the highest retail value for the coin in an already certified condition. As a trusted dealer we will have our coin specialists evaluate your coins at no cost and offer you a price that is both fair for you, but that also allows us to realize a reasonable profit.