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 Liberty Head nickel

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PostSubject: Liberty Head nickel   Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:10 am

The Liberty Head nickel, sometimes referred to as the V nickel due to its reverse (or tails) design, was an American five-cent piece. It was struck for circulation from 1883 until 1912; at least five pieces were surreptitiously struck dated 1913.

The original copper-nickel five-cent piece, the Shield nickel, had longstanding production problems, and in the early 1880s, the United States Mint looked to replace it. Mint Chief Engraver Charles Barber was instructed to prepare designs for proposed new one, three, and five-cent pieces, which were to bear similar designs. Only the new five-cent piece was approved, and went into production in 1883. The design was struck for almost thirty years, and large quantities were produced to meet commercial demand, especially as coin-operated machines became popular.

Beginning in 1911, the Mint began work to replace the Liberty head design, and a new design, which became known as the Buffalo nickel, went into production in February 1913. No 1913 Liberty head nickels were officially struck, however, five are known to exist. It is uncertain how these pieces originated, but they have come to be among the most expensive coins in the world—one sold in 2010 for $3,737,500.

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