Conservation Showcase: 1883 Liberty Head Nickel

Posted on 6/14/2013

Here's a recent example from the conservation laboratory.

NCS Conservation Showcase NCS Conservation Showcase
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NCS Conservation Showcase NCS Conservation Showcase

Numismatists are familiar with the story of the Liberty nickels in 1883 being issued without the denomination “cents” stated on the reverse. Certain unscrupulous individuals were reported to try and gold plate these pieces in an attempt to pass them off as gold $5 coins of nearly the same size. While this 1883 No Cents Liberty Nickel did escape a plating bath at the hands of a crook, it did not escape the effects of poor long-term storage conditions.

Conservators at NCS have developed techniques to deal with the green brown areas that can appear on nickel coins such as what is seen on the obverse of this Liberty nickel. Following careful conservation work, this 1883 nickel was able to grade numerically with NGC.

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