THE LIBERTY HEAD NICKEL: HISTORY, RARITY, AND MORE
The Liberty Head V Nickel is one of the most attention-grabbing numismatic pieces. These coins are surrounded by different errors and scandals and are rich in Americana history. These qualities, among others, are what make these coins so rare and collectible. If you are considering creating a collection of these coins or selling your current collection, continue reading for more information.
Production of the Liberty Head Nickel, also known as the “V” nickel because of the Roman number “V” on the obverse, started in 1883 and ran through 1912. In 1913, the buffalo coin took the place of the Liberty Head V Nickel. While the reason has not yet been determined, five V Nickel coins with the date of 1913 were struck and are currently some of the most valuable coins in the world.
The Liberty Head nickel’s history precedes its first minting date by nearly two decades. In the early 1860s, an industrial miner named Joseph Wharton began to lobby the Mint to use nickel to create different coins so he could sell the nickel ore he mined from the earth. His efforts were eventually successful, and in 1881, Charles Barber, a chief engraver at the mint, created the design of the Liberty Head V nickel.
On the obverse side of the coin appears the left-facing bust of the liberty goddess. The goddess has a crown with the word “Liberty” engraved on it and is surrounded by a laurel wreath. Around the coin’s circumference, the words “United States of America” appear.
On the reverse side of the coin, the Roman number “V” appears encircled by a wreath of wheat, cotton, and corn. “V” in this case, stands for the corresponding number of cents that the nickel is worth—5 cents. Finally, the famous motto “E Pluribus Unum” is engraved at the pinnacle of the coin.
The Liberty Head nickels are some of the most valuable coins that collectors can find on the market. The nickels are generally divided into pre-20th century and 20th-century artifacts. Circulated versions of pre-20th century coins can be purchased for somewhere between $6 and $14. An uncirculated version of the same coin can go for $30 to $350, depending on the years.
20th-century Liberty Head nickels are worth slightly less than their pre-20th century counterparts. Circulated coins can range from $2.50 to $9, and uncirculated coins can range from $85 to $310.
The particularly valuable years for this coin are 1885, 1886, 1912-2, and 1913. 1885 and ’86 coins average about $600 and $350 respectively for circulated versions. Uncirculated coins are worth $3400 and $1800, respectively as well.
The 1912-s is worth $150 in circulated condition and approximately $1900 in uncirculated condition. There are only five known examples of 1913 coins making them exceedingly valuable. The current market value for these uncirculated coins sits at $4.6 million.
The Liberty Head nickels are classic pieces of Americana. Collectors often seek Whole sets, and obtaining a whole set will increase the value beyond the individual pieces.
**Prices stated in this article are subjective and not intended to project actual value. All precious metal prices are dependent on several factors.**
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