Description and Analysis

Liberty Head Five Cents
1894 5C PF

Description & Analysis

While the proof nickels of 1894 were well made by the standards of the time, the certified population of gems is held in check by a combination of careless, post-mint handling and planchet deficiencies of one sort of another.

Copper and nickel don't blend that naturally, and tiny lamination flakes may be seen on many proofs. The higher pressure and slower press action used in coining proofs actually made these flaws more pronounced than on currency coins. Also a problem were lint impressions caused by fibers from the die-cleaning cloth left on the die faces. The coin shown above has a very obvious lint impression on Liberty's cheek.

Gems of this date are in short supply, and Cameo proofs are very elusive. One obverse die used this year has a slightly repunched date, but this variety is of little interest.