Liberty Nickel

1883 – 1912 The Liberty Nickel, also called the V Nickel or Barber Nickel, was first struck in 1883. In the beginning of the year the coin was minted without the word “cents” below the “V” on the reverse. The Coinage Act of 1792 did not require coins higher than one cent in value to include the denomination, so this is not surprising. Many unscrupulous people started gold plating the coin and passing it off as a five dollar gold piece. The problem was with the “V” combined with no denomination which made it easy for a gold plated nickel to be mistaken for a five dollar gold piece. These gold plated examples are still common today and are referred to as “racketeer nickels”. 1913 Liberty Nickel Approximately 5.5 million 1883 Liberty Nickels...

Buffalo Nickel

1913 – 1938 The name “Buffalo Nickel” is actually a misnomer, as the animal appearing on the reverse is in fact a bison and not a buffalo. The true name of this very popular coin is the Five Cent Indian Head, however, the name “Buffalo Nickel” seems to have been set as its most widely used and accepted name. The obverse of the Buffalo Nickel features a portrait of a Native American. The “Indian Head” was actually a composite of three different chiefs; John Big Tree, Iron Tail and Two Moons. The word “LIBERTY” appears next to the rim on the upper right side across from the Native American’s eyes. Buffalo Nickel (Indian Head Five Cents) The reverse side of the coin features an American Bison, which was confused as a buffalo by the early...