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Description and Analysis

Shield Five Cents
1872 5C PF

Description & Analysis

Only 950 silver proof sets were coined for 1872, but the minor coins were also available for purchase as a short-set of their own, and these were very popular. Several hundred proof 1872 nickels were likely sold in addition to the number provided here.

The majority of proofs are from a doubled obverse die that was used for currency strikes as well. An extremely rare error for this date is seen on a few proofs that have the dies in medal alignment, that is, the opposite of what is normal for USA coins.

The quality issues which affect so many proofs of the early 1870s are present in this date. Crude or incomplete polishing may be seen, and some pieces were not struck fully enough to eradicate the tiny marks and voids present on planchets prior to coining. This is not uncommon on currency pieces, but it is unexcusable for proofs.