Expert Comments

Ron Guth

The 1869 Shield Nickel was the last date to have a mintage over 10 million pieces.  Because of the relatively largemintage, many examples survived in high grade in collections and accumulations.  The most frequenyl-seen grade (by far) is MS-64, but ample quantities exist in MS65 to satisfy the demand for gem examples.  The PCGS Condition Census consists entirely of MS66 examples, of which PCGS has certified eleven.

This date, like so many others in the series, often shows spidery die cracks, especially on the obverse.  Often, the stars on the reverse are weakly struck.  The ultimate 1869 Shield Nickel is one that is fully struck, bright, lustrous, and with no (or few) die cracks.  Good luck finding such a creature!

20.50 millimeters
James Barton Longacre
5.00 grams
Metal Content
75% Copper, 25% Nickel
The United States of America
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Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates

65 or Better 20000 R-2.8 13 / 17 14 / 19
All Grades 1000 R-5.0 13 / 17 13 / 19 TIE
60 or Better 150 R-7.5 11 / 17 TIE 12 / 19 TIE

Condition Census

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

“Greenbrier River” Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

1 MS66+ PCGS grade
3 MS66 PCGS grade MS66 PCGS grade
3 MS66 PCGS grade

American Numismatic Rarities 8/2006:178, unsold

3 MS66 PCGS grade