Ron Guth: In 1871, the mintage of the Three-Cent Nickel dropped below 1 million coins for the first time, to a total of 604,000. Despite the drop in mintage, the 1871 remains a relatively common coin. In circulkated grades, the 1871 is priced similarly to all dates between 1865 and 1875; in Mint State, it commands a small premium.
The 1871 Three-Cent Nickel can be found without too much difficulty in MS-63 to MS-65 condition. In MS-66, this date becomes quite scarce, and only one example has been graded MS67 by PCGS.
This date usually comes with a good strike and the luster is most likely to be frosty rather than prooflike.