Expert Comments

Ron Guth

Among all the Shield Nickels, the 1880 has the lowest mintage of any circulation strike date in the series.  The problem with this situation is that the low mintage consists primarily of Prooflike examples.  Thus, a poorly made proof example, of which there are many, is often presented as a circulation strike, which is worth considerably more than a Proof.  To counter this, we recommend dealing only in certified examples, because these have been checked out and vetted by the experts at PCGS.

The extremely low population of certified Mint State examples consists of less than two dozen that have been certified by PCGS.  Of those, only a single MS66 exists, with none finer.

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 100 R-8.0 1 / 17 1 / 19
All Grades 30 R-8.9 1 / 17 1 / 19
60 or Better 3 R-9.8 1 / 17 1 / 19

Condition Census

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

Just Having Fun Collection (PCGS Set Registry) - Stack's/Bowers 6/2014:1268, not sold - Heritage 1/2015:4032, $117,500 - Heritage 1/2016:5284, not sold - Stack's/Bowers 8/2016:3039, not sold

2 MS66 PCGS grade MS66 PCGS grade

Greenbrier River Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

3 MS65 PCGS grade MS65 PCGS grade

Heritage 1/2012:3080, $74,750 - Heritage 8/2014:3258, $88,125 - Legend Rare Coin Auctions 9/2015:49, $91,062.50

3 MS65 PCGS grade MS65 PCGS grade
3 MS65 PCGS grade MS65 PCGS grade

Stack's/Bowers 6/2013:1125, $73,496