1866 5C Rays (Regular Strike)

Series: Shield Five Cents 1866-1883

PCGS MS66+

PCGS MS66+

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PCGS MS66+

PCGS MS66+

PCGS MS66+

PCGS MS66+

PCGS #:
3790
Designer:
James Barton Longacre
Edge:
Plain
Diameter:
20.50 millimeters
Weight:
1.94 grams
Mintage:
14,742,500
Mint:
Philadelphia
Metal:
75% Copper, 25% Nickel
Current Auctions - PCGS Graded
Current Auctions - NGC Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - PCGS Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates Learn More

Grades Survival
Estimate
Numismatic
Rarity
Relative Rarity
By Type
Relative Rarity
By Series
All Grades 40,000 R-2.6 2 / 2 15 / 19 TIE
60 or Better 3,000 R-4.4 2 / 2 17 / 19 TIE
65 or Better 500 R-6.0 2 / 2 17 / 19
Survival Estimate
All Grades 40,000
60 or Better 3,000
65 or Better 500
Numismatic Rarity
All Grades R-2.6
60 or Better R-4.4
65 or Better R-6.0
Relative Rarity By Type All Specs in this Type
All Grades 2 / 2
60 or Better 2 / 2
65 or Better 2 / 2
Relative Rarity By Series All Specs in this Series
All Grades 15 / 19 TIE
60 or Better 17 / 19 TIE
65 or Better 17 / 19

Condition Census What Is This?

Pos Grade Image Pedigree and History
1 MS66+ PCGS grade

Heritage 1/2016:4735, $4,465 - “Jesh” Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

1 MS66+ PCGS grade

“Greenbrier River” Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

1 MS66+ PCGS grade

Just Having Fun Collection - Stack’s/Bowers 11/2013:2013 - Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation - Stack's/Bowers 11/2015:20014, $11,456.25

1 MS66+ PCGS grade

Heritage 1/2016:4734, $6,756.25

1 MS66+ PCGS grade
4 MS66 PCGS grade
6 MS66 PCGS grade

Larry Shapiro Collection - Heritage 9/2008:615, $5,750

6 MS66 PCGS grade
6 MS66 PCGS grade
6 MS66 PCGS grade
#1 MS66+ PCGS grade

Heritage 1/2016:4735, $4,465 - “Jesh” Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

#1 MS66+ PCGS grade

“Greenbrier River” Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

#1 MS66+ PCGS grade

Just Having Fun Collection - Stack’s/Bowers 11/2013:2013 - Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation - Stack's/Bowers 11/2015:20014, $11,456.25

#1 MS66+ PCGS grade

Heritage 1/2016:4734, $6,756.25

#1 MS66+ PCGS grade
#4 MS66 PCGS grade
#6 MS66 PCGS grade

Larry Shapiro Collection - Heritage 9/2008:615, $5,750

#6 MS66 PCGS grade
#6 MS66 PCGS grade
#6 MS66 PCGS grade
Ron Guth:

In 1866, the U.S. government introduced a new 5 Cent piece made of nickel as an alternative for the silver Half Dime. The two coins were issued side-by-side through 1873, after which the Half Dime was discontinued and the "Nickel" became the coin of the land. The new metal, because it was so hard, made it difficult to strike the coins, and the dies suffered frequent cracking. Part of the problem was the intricate reverse, where stars were squeezed tightly between small rays surrounding the large "5". Ultimately, the rays were removed from the dies mid-1867, but this did not solve the cracking problem entirely.

High grade examples of this first-year-of-issue are readily available in grades all the way up to MS66, where PCGS has graded over 50 examples. As already mentioned, collectors should seek out well-struck examples (to the extent they are available), and avoid examples with natural flaws or excessive and/or large carbon spots.