Pnwlight's 1876 Shield Nickel

This is Pnwlight's 1876 Shield Nickel.

Designed by James B. Longacre, it was the first nickel five-cent piece minted in the United States, in accordance with the Act of May 16, 1866.

There is an early variety with rays passing from the numeral 5 through the spaces between the stars.

These were minted only in 1866 and part of 1867. Longacre's original design had failed to take into account the difficulties of minting with such a hard alloy, and the rays caused a general lack of detail in areas on the opposite face of the coin.


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