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Greysheet & CPG® PRICE GUIDE

How much are my Shield Nickels worth?

About Shield Nickels

Shield nickels were struck from 1866 through 1883 and designed by James B. Longacre. These 75% copper, 25% nickel coins, the first 5-cent pieces with this composition, circulated concurrently with the physically smaller but equally denominated half dime, which also has a face value of five cents.

Generally speaking, the scarcest Shield nickels were minted from 1877 through 1881, with the 1866, 1867 Without Rays, 1868, 1869, and 1882 issues being the most commonly encountered dates across the grading spectrum. The rarest issues by date are the 1877 and 1878 Shield nickels, which are proof-only issues with a combined mintage of less than 3,000 pieces.

Shield nickel varieties include the 1867 Rays and 1867 Without Rays, with the former showcasing rays between the stars that encircle the large numeral 5 on the coin's reverse. Earlier into production that year, the rays were removed, leaving only stars around the '5.' Another set of important varieties are found on 1873 nickels with the Closed 3 and Open 3, as evidenced in the fourth numeral of the date. The 1873 Open 3 is far more common than the 1873 Closed 3. All Shield nickels were made at the Philadelphia Mint.

Type Coin
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1866-1867 Rays 5c MS [Type]

Worth: $27.00 - $50,400
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Type Coin
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1867-1883 No Rays 5c MS [Type]

Worth: $22.95 - $3,750
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Set Total
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Shield Nickel Set (18 Coins, no 83/2) 5c MS

Worth: $2,930 - $185,000
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1866 Rays 5c MS

Worth: $27.00 - $3,900
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1866/1866 Rays 5c MS

Worth: $286 - $10,500
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1867 Rays 5c MS

Worth: $29.70 - $50,400
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1867 No Rays 5c MS

Worth: $22.95 - $13,000
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1868 5c MS

Worth: $22.95 - $12,000
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1869 5c MS

Worth: $22.95 - $7,500
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1870 5c MS

Worth: $27.00 - $2,750
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1871 5c MS

Worth: $74.00 - $15,100
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1872 5c MS

Worth: $40.50 - $15,100
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1873 Open 3 5c MS

Worth: $29.70 - $4,060
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1873/3 Open 3 5c MS Large/Small 3

Worth: $11,300 - $22,800
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1873 Closed 3 5c MS

Worth: $47.25 - $6,000
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1874 5c MS

Worth: $32.40 - $3,300
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1875 5c MS

Worth: $45.90 - $2,500
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1876 5c MS

Worth: $40.50 - $2,400
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1879 5c MS

Worth: $423 - $17,300
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Key Date
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1880 5c MS

Worth: $1,810 - $122,400
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1881 5c MS

Worth: $247.00 - $8,250
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1882 5c MS

Worth: $22.95 - $3,750
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1883 Shield 5c MS

Worth: $22.95 - $3,750
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1883/2 Shield 5c MS

Worth: $195.00 - $12,200
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