The V-Nickel was first produced in 1883 and represents the second design for the newly introduced nickel denomination. The V (Liberty Head) Nickels were produced at three different mints: Philadelphia (no mint mark), Denver (D) and San Francisco (S). The mint mark is located on the reverse of the coin on the lower right side. Unfortunately, because of the coin’s age, very few have survived the years in good condition.
For collectors, it is essential that they find these coins in well-preserved condition. While finding one of these coins is significant, no one wants to add a beat up, scratched piece to their collection – which is why the price for a well-preserved piece is much higher than one in decent to poor condition.
For coins as old as the 1887 V-Nickel, you really have to look at the condition the coin is in. These coins have collector value regardless of condition, but it is only the coins that are in pristine condition that are desired by collectors. Finding these well-preserved coins is not such an easy task when you consider how long ago they were minted.
When you are judging the condition of a coin, you are really giving the coin a grade. Though grading is performed most often by a professional company, you can use the specifications below to gain a better idea as to what a graded V-Nickel might look like.
Uncirculated: This is the type of graded V-Nickel that every collector is trying to get their hands on. These coins, by nature, were never sent onto the open market to exchange hands and, as such, did not incur much of any damage during their lifetime. Just one look at these coins and you will think that it was minted last week, not over 100 years ago.
Extremely Fine: Extremely Fine V-Nickels are also a prized catch for collectors, but these coins will show some light damage. To be given this grade, the coin in question will have very minimal scratching and will appear mostly pristine. It is only under close inspection that you can see the coin’s imperfections.
Fine: Coin’s given this grade are those that have been circulated for an extended period of time. These coins will show plenty of scratching, but not so much so that the integrity of the inscriptions or imagery is compromised.
Good: This is the grade given to most V-Nickels on the market today. These coins will have been fairly heavily circulated and will play host to a lot of scratching and other blemishes. For collectors, these coins are often overlooked in lieu of pieces that have been better-preserved.
To give the 1887 V-Nickel an accurate price, you must first look at its type. Secondly, the condition means everything to most collectors. Those coins that are better preserved often sell for much more than those that aren’t. The chart below will help you gain a good idea as to how much you might be paying for a V-Nickel given its grade and type.
|1887 V Nickel||$15||$35||$75||$110||Source: Red Book|