Shield Nickels 1866 - 1883

Being the first nickel coin minted in the United States, it paved the way for a new era in American currency. Minted from 1866 to 1883, the shield nickel came into existence due to the shortage of silver coins during the Civil War. This shortage prompted the need for an alternative, and the shield nickel emerged as a viable solution.  Replacing the silver half dime, the shield nickel became the preferred choice for everyday transactions. Its authorization marked a significant shift in the monetary landscape of the United States. Designed by James Longacre, the shield nickel featured a distinct and intricate design that captivated the public's attention. The obverse showcased a shield with thirteen stars representing the original thirteen colonies, while the reverse featured the denomination encircled by laurel wreaths.


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