Description and Analysis

Liberty Head Five Cents
1889 5C PF

Description & Analysis

In his reference A Guide Book of Shield and Liberty Head Nickels, Q. David Bowers notes of this date that some of the proofs have more satiny than brilliant surfaces, making them look like gem currency pieces. This is certainly the case with the coin illustrated.

Proof 1889 nickels are similar to those of 1888 in that planchet problems left many of them dull and grainy. As on the piece illustrated, the corn cob at the lower left of the wreath may be incomplete. The U. S. Mint was generally careless in the making of its proofs during the late 1880s, and even the rare gold proofs have certain issues.