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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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Grading Shield Nickels

G4 Good

- All letters in motto readable.

VG8 Very Good

- Motto stands out clearly. Rims worn slightly but even. Part of shield lines visible.

F12 Fine

- Half of each olive leaf is smooth.

EF40 Extremely Fine

- Leaf tips show slight wear. Cross over shield slightly worn.

AU50 About Uncirculated

- Traces of light wear on only the high points of the design. Half of mint luster is present.