Expert Comments

Ron Guth

In 1871, the Mint produced only 561,000 Nickels for circulation.  This was a new record low for the series, by far; the previous low was the year before when the Philadelphia Mint produced nearly 5 million Nickels.  Naturally, this is one of the more sought-after of the Shield Nickel dates.  The overall population is sustantially lower than in previous years, and the number of certified Mint State examples dropped by nearly a half.  Surprisingly, a fair number of MS64 to MS65 examples are known, and even the MS66 grade is on par with more common dates such as 1869 and 1870. 

The strike quality on this date is generally quite good, although an occasional piece will show weakness on the stars on the upper to upper right reverse.  As usual, die cracks appear frequently.

Diameter
20.50 millimeters
Designer
James Barton Longacre
Edge
Plain
Mintage
561000
Weight
5.00 grams
Metal Content
75% Copper, 25% Nickel
Region
The United States of America
Pop Higher
3
Pop Lower
243
Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades
65 or Better 1500 R-4.8 5 / 17 TIE 5 / 19 TIE
All Grades 250 R-6.6 5 / 17 5 / 19
60 or Better 100 R-8.0 7 / 17 TIE 8 / 19 TIE

Condition Census

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

Goldbergs 1/2015:1085, not sold - “Greenbrier River” Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

1 MS66+ PCGS grade MS66+ PCGS grade

Heritage 2/2014:3750, $5,875

3 MS66 PCGS grade MS66 PCGS grade
3 MS66 PCGS grade
3 MS66 PCGS grade