The Liberty Head Nickel is a five-cent coin minted in the U.S. from 1883 until 1912. During this time, this coin was minted at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania without a mint mark. Smaller runs of this coin were also minted in 1912 at the U.S. Mint in Denver, Colorado and the U.S. Mint in San Francisco, California. Both of these smaller runs were struck with mint marks. After 1912, the Liberty Head Nickel was replaced by the Indian Head/Buffalo Nickel.
Liberty Head Nickel Description
- Obverse Side: The obverse side of this coin features the left-facing head of the goddess of Liberty.
- Reverse Side: The reverse side of this coin features the Roman numeral "V" surrounded by a laurel wreath.
- Size: This coin is 21.21 millimeters in diameter.
- Metal: This coin is composed of an alloy of 75% copper and 25% nickel.
- Edge: This coin has a plain, smooth edge.
Rare Liberty Head Nickels
When the Liberty Head Nickel was first minted in 1883, it was noticed that the first versions of the coin had been minted without the words "CENTS" printed on the reverse side. The U.S. Mint had struck over 5-1/2 million of these coins before this anomaly was noticed. The U.S. Mint redesigned the coin and began minting all subsequent versions with the word "CENTS" included on the reverse side. Although this omission makes the first minted Liberty Head Nickels rare, far too many of them were minted to have much of a significant effect on their value.
Five 1913 Liberty Head Nickels
After the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia stopped minting the Liberty Head Nickel in 1912, a rogue mint employee produced five more of the coins with a 1913 date. This employee sold these coins for $500.00 each. Although these five Liberty Head Nickels were produced without the knowledge of the U.S. Mint, they are still considered to be legal U.S. tender. These five coins are now extremely valuable. Currently, the whereabouts of these five 1913 Liberty Head Nickels are as follows:
- The Eliasberg Nickel - This coin is in an unspecified private collection. It has been featured in more numismatic exhibitions than any of the other five 1913 Liberty Head Nickels.
- The Olsen Nickel - This coin is in an unspecified private collection. It was featured in a story on an episode of Hawaii Five-O.
- The Norweb Nickel - This coin is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
- The McDermott Nickel - This coin is in the permanent collection of the American Numismatic Association Money Museum, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
- The Walton Nickel - This coin is on loan to the American Numismatic Association Money Museum, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Determining the Value of a Liberty Head Nickel
The ultimate value of any coin depends on its rarity, physical condition and the year it was minted. If you have a Liberty Head Nickel and wish to know its value, try to authenticate it online to see if you can determine what you have and what it is worth. Once you have an idea what your coin may be worth, look for a professional appraiser/coin dealer in your area who can help you determine exactly what your coin is worth and how to best sell it for maximum profit.
Contact a company like Penny Pincher Coins & Jewelry to learn more.