Description and Analysis

Shield Five Cents
1874 5C PF

Description & Analysis

The U. S. Mint did not record sales of minor proofs outside of those included in the silver proof sets, since it did not need to account for any precious metals. This policy did not change until 1878, and for earlier issues numismatists can only estimate the total coinage. It's likely that nearly twice the number of 1874 proof nickels shown in the figure here were actually distributed, though their attrition has been higher than one would expect of proof coins.

This issue is usually found well made, with one exception---as in the example illustrated, the star adjacent to letter CA of AMERICA is typically flattened by grease or debris in the die.

One proof die shows slight repunching of numeral 4, but such varieties in proof coins do not attract much interest.