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1865 Three-Cent Nickel

  • Minted in Philadelphia in 1865
  • The year the Civil War ended and Lincoln was assassinated
  • Designed by legendary Mint Chief Engraver James Longacre
  • Available

In 1851, a coin with the odd denomination of three cents was introduced. Originally minted in... more
1865 Three-Cent Nickel

In 1851, a coin with the odd denomination of three cents was introduced. Originally minted in silver, the main purpose of these small coins was to facilitate the purchase of first-class postage stamps which sold for three cents at the time. During the economic turmoil of the Civil War, silver coins were hoarded and melted down for their precious metal content. Congress countered this by issuingpaper money in three-cent denominations, but the small slips of paper became ragged and dirty, and the public came to hate them.

The solution came in the form of a nickel-copper alloy three-cent coin. Larger than the original silver version, the new nickel-copper alloy coin was called the three-cent nickel. It was introduced by the United States Bureau of the Mint in mid-1865, just after the North finally claimed victory over the South in the Civil War and President Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theater. Designed by James B. Longacre, one of the greatest coin designers in American history, the newly designed three-cent nickel featured an engraving of Lady Liberty wearing a coronet bearing the name LIBERTY and a ribbon binding her hair. For the reverse, Longacre placed theRoman numeral III within a laurel wreath. The three-cent nickel was very popular when it first entered circulation. The coin was only minted in Philadelphia and its design remained basically untouchedfor its entire run. But by 1889, postal rates had changed and the pretense for needing a three-cent coin ended. The denomination was discontinued and millions were returned to the Mint to be recoinedinto Liberty five-cent nickels.

Today, savvy collectors like you know the importance of having such a numismatic rarity in their collection.

Limitation: 1,865 complete collections
Weight: 1.94 g
Material (details): Copper, nickel
Issue year: 1865
Diameter: 17.9 mm
Face value: 3 Cents
Material: Mixed
Quality: Very good
Issue year: before 1871
Country: USA

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