Description and Analysis

Shield Five Cents
1867 RAYS 5C PF

Description & Analysis

The proof 1867 nickel with rays is a significant rarity. The mintage figure shown here is merely an estimate, and it is probably on the low side. It's believed that only a handful were coined before the reverse was revised to omit the rays. These may be identified by the fullness of the dies, as the several subsequent emissions to satisfy collector demand reveal some loss of shallow detail as the dies were repolished. In addition, at least three obverse dies were used at various times over the next several years.

Because this issue was so desired, and because a good portion of its mintage occurred after its rarity was established, those that survive today are generally in higher grades than the overall proof population for this coin type. A small number of cameo proofs are known, as well. Most collectors will, of necessity, have to omit this entry in their sets, but it is a top prize for the advanced collector of means.