Different Nickels Coin in U.S. Coin History

By: Mobin

Shield nickels from 1866-1883 were the first US 5 cent piece. Rays were removed from the reverse in 1867.  

Shield Nickel

The 1883-1913 Liberty Head or "V" nickel omitted "Cents" initially, leading to gold-plated frauds. 

Liberty Hea

The Indian Head/Buffalo nickel by James Earle Fraser ran from 1913-1938 before wear issues forced a redesign.  

Buffalo Nickel  

Still minted today, the Jefferson nickel debuted in 1938 and further honored Lewis & Clark in 2005-2006.

Jefferson Nickel

All nickels contain 25% nickel and 75% copper, except 35% silver war nickels made 1942-1945.


Buffalo nickels and V nickels with full dates are widely collected. Jefferson proofs and errors also popular.  


Key date nickels with low mintages command high prices. These include 1877 Shield nickels and 1950-D Jeffersons.  


Different Comprehensive U.S. Cent Coin Designs