From the NGC Archives: 1883 Five-Cent Piece Nickel Pattern J-1710, P-1914

Posted on 2/12/2013

1883 was the year that New York City's Brooklyn Bridge, then known as the East River Bridge, was opened to the public.

It seemed to be an age of marvels, with new inventions such as the telephone, the electric light and the phonograph appearing almost annually.

This classical head of Liberty designed by Charles Barber in 1881 appeared on a number of pattern minor coins through 1883. It was not until that year that it finally debuted on the circulating five-cent piece. This rejected composition is every bit as appealing as the one selected. In addition, this particular specimen is a simply amazing gem. A fabulous cameo impression, its richly frosted devices contrast wonderfully with its brilliant and deeply mirrorlike fields. Though its reverse die specifies a copper-nickel composition, this beautiful piece was minted in pure nickel.

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