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    Description

    1880 Shield Nickel, MS64
    Rare as a Circulation Strike

    1880 5C MS64 PCGS. The 1880 Shield nickel is the premier key date in the series, boasting a mintage of just 16,000 pieces. Besides the difficulty of locating a pleasing Mint State representative, collectors are also faced with the challenge of differentiating the rare circulation strikes from the more available but similar in appearance proofs of the same date. The die characteristics of the two different formats are not a black-and-white matter, as the two 1880 obverse dies were used for both proofs and circulation strikes. One reverse die, identified by recutting on the first S in STATES and a small island of metal below the T in the same word, is believed to have produced only circulation issues, although the absence of these diagnostics does not necessarily mean the coin is not a circulation strike. The present piece is not from the reverse die that shows the unquestioned circulation strike diagnostics, but the fields are only semiprooflike, with soft luster evident when tilted beneath a light. Moreover, the wreath leaves are not fully brought up, which is typically indicative of a circulation issue, not a proof, and PCGS adds its seal of approval on the attribution. Both sides are well-preserved and exhibit pale golden toning. An appealing coin in every respect. Population: 7 in 64, 9 finer (3/15).
    From The James E. Blake Collection.(Registry values: N2998)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 276E, PCGS# 3810)

    Weight: 5.00 grams

    Metal: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    22nd-26th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,059

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