Description and Analysis

Shield Five Cents
1871 5C PF

Description & Analysis

How many proof nickels were sold in 1871 in addition to the 960 included in complete silver sets is unknown, but a combined total in the 1200-1500 range is possible.

The crude die-polishing seen on 1870 proofs just worsened for the 1871 coins of all denominations. The brilliance of the fields is a bit irregular, with deep abrasion lines in place of the delicate, uniform polish that was used in the 1860s.

Gems of this date are not particularly rare, and a fair number of cameo proofs are also found. The low mintage of currency pieces has put extra price pressure on 1871 proofs, as they must often stand in for the rare MS issue.