Description and Analysis

Shield Five Cents
1867 RAYS 5C MS

Description & Analysis

In late 1866 there was already discussion of removing the rays from the reverse of the five-cent piece in an attempt to make the coins strike up more fully. The continued urgent demand for nickels to retire five-cent notes did not allow for any delays in coining, so a modest number was coined early in 1867 before this change could be effected. Actually, a mintage of more than two million pieces is small only when compared to the nearly 29 million produced without rays later in the year.

This subtype With Rays is readily available in worn condition, but Mint State examples are scarce, gems genuinely rare. They displays the same flaws as the 1866 pieces, and few of them are fully struck.

This issue is also rich in varieties, the roster of those recognized by NGC being just the tip of the iceberg. So many varieties are known for Shield Nickels that ones which would be of considerable interest for another coin type are largely overshadowed within this series.