Coin Specifications

Category: Shield Five Cents (1866-1883)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 600
Catalog: KM-96
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 5.00 Grams
Diameter: 20.5mm
Edge: Plain
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1866 RAYS 5C PF obverse 1866 RAYS 5C PF reverse


  
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There are no varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

Coining of the nickel five-cent piece did not begin until June 11, 1866, well after most collectors had purchased their silver proof sets for the year. Walter Breen's figure of 125 proof nickels was derived from the number of silver sets sold after that time, these including the minor coins, as well. How many proof nickels were sold as part of the minor proof sets is uncertain, but estimates range from 600-1200, and it's also possible that restrikes were made a few years later for new collectors.

The proofs of this date are generally well struck, though a few will show slight weakness at the right side of the chief, the upper portion of the shield in which horizontal lines represent the color blue. This is in contrast to the currency pieces, which are almost always poorly defined.

There seem to be enough proof 1866 nickels to satisfy the demand, though gems are scarce. So, too, are Cameo examples, while Ultra Cameo specimens are ultra rare.

This is the only issue in the series to have a tiny centering dot on the reverse. This die was evidently unique to 1866 proofs and some pattern coins.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/16/2014

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1866 RAYS 5C PF
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - 1450 1575 1700 2000 2375 3050 4875 17500 - - -
$ - - - - - 1550 1675 1800 2100 2650 3600 6000 - -
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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 258
Low Grade: 58
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 67


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
10/22/1997 PCGS PF 66   Teletrade Auction 0991, 991/Lot# 1161 $4,387.00
5/31/2004 PCGS PF 64   Goldberg May 31 - June 2, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 25/Lot# 453 $2,415.00
9/5/2005 NGC PF 66   Ultra Cameo David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet-Only Auction #52, 57/Lot# 99 $8,740.00
11/29/2006 PCGS PF 66   Cameo Heritage Auctions 2006 November Dallas Signature Coin Auction #420, 420/Lot# 313 $5,750.00
1/7/2009 PCGS PF 67   Cameo Heritage Auctions 2009 January Orlando, FL FUN Auction #1121, 1121/Lot# 3627 $17,250.00
10/17/2012 PCGS   Stack's Bowers The November 2012 Baltimore Auction - US and World Lots - Live and Internet Only Sessions, 144/Lot# 1095 $2,300.00
1/8/2014 PCGS PF 66   Cameo Heritage Auctions 2014 January 8 - 12 FUN US Coin Signature Auction - Orlando Session(1), 1201/Lot# 3750 $4,406.25


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1866 RAYS 5C PF
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base45857069984910241223134014501531158316581707178120092124243328983564608979602827950688
49561374990710901262137614771548160816741731185720472227258831204405671214733357480
00000013761477154816081674173118572047222725883120440567121473300
00000014131504156516331690175619332085233027433342524773362150600
1866 RAYS 5C PF Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base54466781598311751396152616471736179318751928200922592385272032243943665186443111555734
585716871104712481439156616761755182018921955209223012496288834634845731516134393210
00000015661676175518201892195520922301249628883463484573151613400
00000016061706177418471910198221752343260830563703574879792362400
1866 RAYS 5C PF Ultra Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base6928401013121214361691184119802082214722412302239426782821320037674572757097563578164033
7418971079128615211741188720142103217822612332248827252947338940355571829818431451980
00000018872014210321782261233224882725294733894035557182981843100
00000019332048212522092281236325832773307335784303657090272710600
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: PF 67 ULTRA CAMEO
Points: 8298
Owner: DMD2
 
Grade: PF 67 CA
Points: 6651
Owner: SLUGGO
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

Related Articles

Conservation Showcase: Proof 1866 5 Cent

5/3/2010  — A recent example from our conservation laboratory.
View full article >


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