Expert Comments

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.

PCGS #
3790
Designer
James Barton Longacre
Edge
Plain
Diameter
20.50 millimeters
Weight
1.94 grams
Mintage
14742500
Metal
75% Copper, 25% Nickel
Pop Higher
7
Pop Lower
2420
Region
The United States of America
Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates Learn More

Grades
65 or Better 40000 R-2.6 2 / 2 15 / 19 TIE
All Grades 3000 R-4.4 2 / 2 17 / 19 TIE
60 or Better 500 R-6.0 2 / 2 17 / 19
65 or Better 40000
All Grades 3000
60 or Better 500
65 or Better R-2.6
All Grades R-4.4
60 or Better R-6.0
65 or Better 2 / 2
All Grades 2 / 2
60 or Better 2 / 2
65 or Better 15 / 19 TIE
All Grades 17 / 19 TIE
60 or Better 17 / 19

Condition Census Learn More

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66+ PCGS grade MS66+ PCGS grade

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

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

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

MS66+ PCGS grade #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