The 1885 V-Nickel is viewed as the key date of this series. It was not the lowest mintage, however, circulation took a heavy toll. When the V-Nickel was first introduced, it was not common to save newly minted coins, however, when coin collecting did gain popularity, very few coins were available. This being the case, most coins were well worn, and uncirculated coins are very rare.
Along with minted coins, the Philadelphia Mint also struck proof 1885 nickels. Considering proof coins were sold to collectors, the survival rate is much higher resulting in more widespread availability. It will be more cost effective to acquire a gem proof coin in comparison to a gem uncirculated coin. The 1885 V-Nickel carries a high price tag across all grade levels as collectors need this coin to complete the set. This can be the most expensive coin in this series.
For coins that have been around as long as the 1885 V-Nickel, you must focus on the coin’s overall condition. While coins may be valuable in any condition, it is typically only coins that look pristine that are highly coveted by coin collectors. Finding coins in this condition is not easy, however, given the amount of time these coins have been produced.
When you are inspecting a coin’s condition, you are in essence trying to figure out how that coin may be graded. While actual coin grades are assigned by professional coin grading companies, you can use the guidelines below to get a good idea of how a graded V-Nickel may present itself.
Uncirculated: This is the condition that serious coin collectors are looking to acquire and add to their portfolios. Because these coins have never been used in circulation, they may have little to no damage or signs of wear and tear. These coins will, in fact, appear to be brand new, and will look as if they were just rolled from the mint’s presses the same day.
Extremely Fine: Coins in extremely fine condition may also be sought after by collectors. These coins will, however, display some very minor damage to surfaces or details. In fact, it is only under a very close visual inspection that one might see the coin’s blemishes or damage. To be assigned this grade, the coin will look to be in near-pristine condition.
Fine: Coins that are assigned a grade of fine are typically coins that have been used in circulation for a period of time. These coins will have damage to surfaces or details, although the coin s images and text will remain relatively clear and robust.
Good: Most of the V-Nickels on the market today are said to be in good condition. These coins have exchanged hands countless times over many decades, and will have obvious signs of wear and tear or significant damage.
Pricing the 1885 V-Nickel
When it comes to giving the 1885 V-Nickel a price, you can look most closely at the condition the coin is in. Coins in great to excellent condition may sell for much more than similar coins in fine or good condition. The chart below will help you get a good idea of what you may expect to pay for different types of this coin in various conditions.