Liberty Head Nickel 1883


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Added by Drew Howard , with updated images by varia
In personal collections 7
General Description Liberty Head V nickel (1883–1913) 75% copper - 25% nickel
1883 P without CENTS - 5,474,300
1883 P with CENTS - 16,026,200
Liberty Head (V) nickels were officially minted from 1883 to 1912. However, an unknown mint official illegally produced an unknown quantity of V Nickels with the date 1913, with only five known genuine examples. V nickels were minted only at Philadelphia until 1912, when Denver and San Francisco each minted a small quantity. All five 1913 examples were minted in Philadelphia. The D or S mint mark is located on the reverse, just below the left-hand dot near the seven-o'-clock position on the rim.
The original 1883 issue lacked the word "cents" on the reverse. Since the nickels were the same size as five-dollar gold pieces, some counterfeiters plated them with gold and attempted to pass them off as such. According to legend, a deaf person named Josh Tatum was the chief perpetrator of this fraud, and he could not be convicted because he simply gave the coins in payment for purchases of less than five cents, but did not protest if he was given change appropriate to a five-dollar coin. There is no historical record of Tatum outside of numismatic folklore, however, so the story may well be apocryphal. The 1883 nickel is sometimes referred to as the "racketeer nickel," and Josh Tatum is sometimes cited as the source of the saying, "You're not Joshin' me, are you?"
Obv. Description Liberty facing left, wearing a coronet
Rev. Description Roman numeral V, for 5, indicating the denomination, surrounded by a wreath
Catalog code KM#112
Mintage 16,032,983
Diameter 21.21 mm
Weight 5.0000 g
Material Copper-Nickel
Mint United States of America - Philadelphia (P)
Edge Type plain
Designer Charles Barber
Catalog prices No catalog prices set yet

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