Shield Nickels were some of the first five-cent pieces ever available for US citizens. As one of the first coin series minted after the Civil War, the Shield Nickel is especially valuable for collectors. Of course, because these coins are so old, they are often in poor condition and lacking much appeal. As the last edition of the Shield Nickel ever produced, the 1883 Shield Nickel is especially valuable for collectors.
No matter what type of collector you are, it goes without saying that every collector aspires to find a coin in the most well-preserved condition. With that, however, you have to understand that some of the finest coins go for prices that you would have never guessed would be attached to the purchase of a Nickel.
Coins produced in the 1800s are becoming increasingly scarce with each passing year. With more collectors buying them and even more still being lost, these coins will only increase in value as time moves forward. This holds especially true for coins in excellent condition.
For the 1883 Shield Nickel, collectors are always looking for the ones that have been preserved better than any others. Looking at the condition of a coin like this is known as grading. When it comes to grading, this is usually done by a professional service, but not everyone has the luxury of being able to send their coins away for grading. Using the specifications below will help you better understand the qualities of a coin of a certain grade.
Uncirculated: Coins of this grade never spent any time in circulation and because of that do not show any signs of wear. The texture of an Uncirculated coin is kept intact and will feel as though the coin was minted only days ago. Even the mint’s original luster will have been preserved, allowing the coin to retain most of its shine.
Extremely Fine: Coins that were circulated for only a very short period of time and show only minimal signs of wear. Apart from some scratching on the surfaces of the coin, however, you will find that these coins are mostly pristine. The mint’s original luster will have worn away a bit, but overall the appeal of Extremely Fine coins is only outdone by those coins that were never circulated at all.
Fine: Coins that receive this grade are those that saw a decent amount of time in circulation and are home to a good amount of wear. Plenty of scratching and other signs of wear will be present on the faces of the coin to the extent that some of the boundaries separating the inscriptions and images will have worn away a bit.
Good: Coins receiving this grade are those that saw a lot of time in circulation and have incurred a lot of damage. The faces of these coins will be worn, scratched, and otherwise affected in a negative manner. Even though these coins are the cheapest you will find, they are by no means cheap.
When it comes to giving the Shield Nickel a price, the condition of the coin is the biggest thing collectors look at. For those coins that are in excellent condition, the price you are going to pay is going to be a lot more than it would be for coins in poor condition. For the 1883 edition, the price is further affected by the fact that this was the last year the Shield Nickel was produced. By referring to the chart below you can get a better idea of what you might pay for a Shield Nickel from 1883 given its grade.
1883 Shield Nickel
|1883||$20||$30||$65||$110||Source: Red Book|