Popular PR64 1867 With Rays Nickel1867 5C Rays PR64 PCGS. CAC. There is little room to dispute that the 1867 With Rays is the rarest of the proof Shield nickel issues, though how much rarer it is than its nearest rival (likely the proof-only issue of 1877) remains open to interpretation. The traditional mintage figure of 25 specimens, reprinted in the Guide Book as an estimate with the possibility for more and elsewhere as a hard number, is almost assuredly incorrect, since the dedicated collector should be able to trace at least 25 distinct representatives of the issue on his or her own.
Various sources suggest 50, 60, 75, 100, or even more pieces as more plausible production figures; in addition, recent research by John Dannreuther suggests that an initial batch of 15 examples was the "original" production run for the proof issue and that all other pieces known are restrikes. Certain other collectors have argued for an even more extreme version, that none of the 1867 With Rays proofs were struck in that year, making this issue the Shield design's version of the 1913 Liberty Head nickel.
Whatever the truth, specimens such as this Choice piece will continue to be in high demand for the foreseeable future. Elegant nickel-blue patina drapes the present coin's considerable mirrors, and the strike is razor-sharp, even on the often-weak reverse stars. Though a few faint hairlines hidden under the toning preclude a finer designation, the overall eye appeal is grand. Population: 16 in 64, 20 finer (11/08).
See: Video Lot Description(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 276H, PCGS# 3818)
Weight: 5.00 grams
Metal: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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