Sunday, February 23, 2014

Coin Collecting and Genealogy Part III - Nickel Coins

See Coin Collecting and Genealogy for the first of this series.

Note:  Everything is in a safe deposit box.  I keep nothing in my home. 

Three Cent Nickel

Although I cannot remember the date, this replacement 3 cent piece is of the same condition as the original.

These coins were the first "nickels".  Most of us think of nickels as five cents, but those came later.  Three cents was the price of a postage stamp in these times, change was still scarce, so these were issued to help.

Shield Nickel

Again, I can't remember the date, but the one I bought will do.

I think the "With Rays" version of this is ugly.  I like this style better.

Liberty Head or "V Nickels"

 The initial issue of these in 1883 did not have "CENTS" on the reverse.  That's the version that was in the original collection and it was every bit as nice as this replacement. 
They say that people gold plated these and passed them as Five Dollar Gold pieces and therefor these are sometimes called "Racketeer nickels".

I doubt that happened often. People were familiar with gold coins and the weight difference would have been very noticeable.  Also, $5.00 was a fairly large amount of money then - at least $100 or more in today's money.  Few people take a hundred dollar bill today without looking at it and I'm sure most wouldn't have been fooled then.  See "JOSH TATUM RACKETEER NICKEL REFERENCES PRIOR TO 1968" also.


That was all there was in the original collection.  

Buffalo Nickels

As a young child, I found a very nice 1913 "Type 1" Buffalo. The one I bought is only slightly nicer.  

I've also added the last year of issue, 1938.

It was very easy to find Buffalo's in change when I was a boy.

Jefferson Nickels

Supposedly this is the "most collected" U.S. Coin.  It's nice that you can still find all but the most difficult dates in circulation.  I even got a very worn 40% silver "war nickel" in change recently.

When I was a boy, those silver nickels were very easy to find, even in high grades.  
Interestingly, many that I found then had lamination errors, where particularly the reverse would be peeling off.  Today, some collectors pay a premium for coins I threw back into circulation as "damaged"!

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