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Shield Nickels

Shield Nickels began production in 1866. In 1865, Mint Director James Pollock officially endorsed the creation of a nickel five-cent piece to replace the hated fractional notes. The Mint's chief engraver, James B. Longacre, created a design based on his previous two-cent piece, with a shield as the main obverse motif. On May 16, 1866, legislation enabling the new coin was enacted, and Shield Nickels began to be struck that year.



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