The 1886 V-Nickel is deemed the second rarest of this series. This is actually not the lowest mintage for the series, but circulation took a heavy toll. Around the time of issue it was not as customary to save newly minted coins, and by the time coin collecting had gained in popularity, very few pieces remained available. The majority of these were well worn, with uncirculated examples extremely rare.
For collectors, it is always a goal to find coins in the best possible condition because no one wants to boast a collection of coins that is not easy on the eyes. With regard to the 1886 V-Nickel, finding one in great condition is no simple task.
For coins that have been around for over a century, the coin’s condition is of utmost importance. While these coins may be valued by collectors in any condition, collectors will likely only look to obtain coins that are considered pristine. However, finding nickels in this condition can prove challenging.
When you are examining a coin’s condition, you are trying to get an idea of what grade that coin may be assigned. Although the actual grade assignment must be given by a professional coin grading company, you can use the guidelines below to get a good idea of how your coin may be graded.
Uncirculated: This is the coin type that the majority of coin collectors will be looking to obtain. These coins have never exchanged hands in everyday use, and have therefore not been subjected to the damage associated with circulation. Looking at these coins, they will look as if they were freshly minted and have not been handled by human hands.
Extremely Fine: Coins in extremely fine condition may also be sought after by collectors. These coins will, however, show some signs of use over the years. They will have very minimal damage, however, that may only be seen upon close examination. To the naked eye, these coins will appear to be in near-perfect condition.
Fine: Coins that are assigned a grade of fine will have noticeable signs of damage and wear from use over the years. This damage, though, is not enough to affect the integrity of the coin’s images or inscriptions. There will likely be some significant scratches to the coin’s surfaces.
Good: The majority of nickels on the open market today are considered to be in good condition. These coins have been exchanged extensively over the years and will have many scratches and blemishes. Despite this, these coins may still hold some value because they are one of the earlier editions.
To get an accurate idea of your coin’s price, you must first determine the grade of your coin. Secondly, the coin’s condition will be very important as well, especially to a collector. Coins that are in better condition will usually trade for higher premiums than coins in a lesser condition. The chart below will give you a good idea of what you might expect to pay for a 1886 V-Nickel based on its type and condition.