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Description and Analysis

Shield Five Cents
1870 5C MS

Description & Analysis

By 1870 it was evident that the retirement of five-cent notes was effectively complete. Thus, the mintage of this date was low in comparison to earlier years, being limited to the number of coins needed to replace those lost or withdrawn from circulation.

With this lower mintage, the 1870 nickel is moderately scarce in Mint State, with gems being genuinely rare. The only upside is that the Mint had finally figured out how to make these coins with decent strikes and luster. The severe cracking and chipping of dies common to early issues are not as evident during the 1870s.

Despite its diminished production, the 1870 nickel is still rich in varieties, reaffirming this coin series' claim as a cherrypicker's delight. Two of the more unusual varieties include a die-clashing of the nickel obverse with the cent obverse and a doubled-die reverse from two different hubs---the Reverse of 69 over the Reverse of 67. The best of these varieties are recognized by NGC under its VarietyPlus Service.