V-Nickel (1883-1913)

Image Courtesy of David Lawrence Rare Coins

Image Courtesy of David Lawrence Rare Coins

The V-Nickel, sometimes referred to as the Liberty Head Nickel, gets its V-Nickel name from the coins reverse design. These five-cent pieces were minted for circulation by the U.S. Mint from 1883 to 1913. Like other coin types, V-Nickel values can vary significantly based on condition and date. V-Nickels dated pre-1897 can command significant premiums and many are worth $4 to $5 a piece. A rare 1885 V-Nickel, however, may garner a premium of nearly $400.

The Value of V-Nickels-What Dealers Pay

The value of a V-Nickel depends on its minting year, relative scarcity and other factors. An 1889 V-Nickel in good condition may fetch $10 while an 1885 V-Nickel in uncirculated condition may fetch over $1500. If you have a V-Nickel that is from a limited series or a series that is considered scarce, or if you have a V-Nickel that appears to be in great shape, you may want to consider having it graded by a professional coin grading service such as PCGS or NGC.

By having your V-Nickel graded by a professional numismatist you may be able to get a much better idea as to what dealers and collectors might be willing to pay for your coin. Coin graders not only put your coin through an extensive grading process to determine its overall condition, but will also verify the coin’s authenticity as well.

V-Nickel Value is Conditional

To get a good idea of what condition your V-Nickel may be in, you must closely examine the coin and its details. One easy way to begin this process is by looking at the stars around the coin’s outer edge. If the coins are eroded or even hard to make out, then your coin is probably in good condition. If the stars have good texture with minimal wear and tear, then your coin may be graded fine. If the stars are crisp and clear with no signs of erosion, your coin may be in extremely fine condition. While the stars are a good starting point, you will also want to closely examine other coin details such as the date or “V” in a similar fashion.

Your V-Nickel Could Be Rare

The 1885 V-Nickel is the coin that is most sought after by dealers as well as collectors. This coin is considered elusive and difficult to obtain. Even with considerable wear and tear, an 1885 V-Nickel may be worth nearly $400. If you have one that is in pristine condition, it could potentially sell for as much as $2000.

The 1886 edition is also desired by dealers and collectors as well. If you have one in fine condition, it could sell for over $200.

The 1912 V-Nickel is also quite popular, with coins minted in San Francisco being desired by both dealers and collectors. You can easily use a magnifying glass to check the coin’s mintmark on its reverse.

A 1912-S V-Nickel in good condition may potentially fetch at least $100.

V-Nickel Values May Rise

The V-Nickel may be a great addition to any coin collection and may also be a great starting point for new collectors. These coins have not been minted since 1913, and the older they get the more potentially valuable they may be. Some V-Nickels can be purchased for less than $1.50 making them a very affordable option for both new and seasoned collectors.

V-Nickels

DATE GOOD FINE EXTREMELY FINE UNCIRCULATED
1883 V Nickel $7 $9 $15 $18
1883 V Nickel (with CENTS) $20 $35 $85 $120
1884 V Nickel $20 $35 $85 $130
1885 V Nickel $550 $850 $1,350 $1,700
1886 V Nickel $275 $425 $700 $825
1887 V Nickel $15 $35 $75 $110
1888 V Nickel $30 $60 $175 $220
1889 V Nickel $15 $30 $75 $120
1890 V Nickel $10 $25 $65 $110
1891 V Nickel $7 $25 $70 $125
1892 V Nickel $6 $20 $65 $110
1893 V Nickel $6 $20 $65 $110
1894 V Nickel $20 $100 $240 $300
1895 V Nickel $6 $22 $70 $115
1896 V Nickel $9 $35 $90 $150
1897 V Nickel $4 $12 $45 $70
1898 V Nickel $4 $12 $45 $75
1899 V Nickel $2 $8 $30 $60
1900 V Nickel $2 $8 $30 $65
1901 V Nickel $2 $5 $30 $60
1902 V Nickel $2 $4 $30 $60
1903 V Nickel $2 $4 $30 $60
1904 V Nickel $2 $4 $30 $60
1905 V Nickel $2 $4 $30 $60
1906 V Nickel $2 $4 $30 $60
1907 V Nickel $2 $4 $30 $60
1908 V Nickel $2 $4 $30 $60
1909 V Nickel $3 $5 $32 $70
1910 V Nickel $2 $4 $30 $60
1911 V Nickel $2 $4 $30 $60
1912 V Nickel $2 $4 $30 $60
1912 V Nickel (D) $3 $10 $85 $175
1912 V Nickel (S) $175 $285 $850 $1,400
Source: Red Book