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C.D. Harrell's Blog

08 Apr 2021

The Story of 1883

Coins-United States | C.D. Harrell

I once watched an interview featuring the renowned Numismatist Q. David Bowers. A reporter asked Mr. Bowers what coins he enjoyed speaking about most. He simply replied, "story coins." He then went on to bring up an example of the 1883 liberty head nickel, featuring the no cents reverse. While not a particularly rare coin, it certainly is a good story coin.

As many of us are aware, in 1883 the United States Mint released the Type 1 liberty head nickel. The word "cents" was missing from the reverse. At the time of the release, mint officials did not see an issue with this due the roman numeral "V" (5) being proudly displayed on the reverse. Certain individuals took advantage of this overlook by gold plating the nickels and attempting to pass them off as $5.00 gold pieces. These became known as Racketeer nickels. The design was soon after changed to feature "cents" on the coins reverse.

The 1883 Type 1 Liberty head nickel is the perfect example of a story coin. After watching the interview with Mr. Bowers, I acquired a piece for my personal coin cabinet. In fact, it is the cover photo for this blog post. An 1883 PCGS Proof 64 No Cents liberty head nickel. I look forward to the times when I can share the story of this coin over a fresh cup of coffee and in the company of good friends.

Comments

Jackson14

Level 4

Nice coin

CopperCollector

Level 4

Nice coin.

C.D. Harrell

Level 3

Thank you!

Long Beard

Level 5

And that's how my journey began nearly forty years ago, further captivating me as each passes by. What's funny is, earlier this afternoon the thought of the Liberty Nickel entered my mind looking on EBAY for the few Indian Head Nickels I need to complete that series. Again. I still have old blue from the mid-seventies, working on a second.

Nice story. Great coin!

Kepi

Level 6

Great story! Thanks for sharing it with us. I agree coins, friends and a good cup of coffee sounds great! ; )

I. R. Bama

Level 5

I recently acquired one in a 26.5 pound bag of foreign coins of all places! It was quite a pleasing find!

The MoKe

Level 6

It is a wonderful story for sure and everyone that truly collects should have an example of the No Cents and Cents Nickel of 1883. Thanks for you blog.

Longstrider

Level 6

Great story. You have a fantastic example of the coin. Man, fresh coffee, good friends, and coins. Sounds fantastic to me. We're getting there. Thanks.

CoinHunter

Level 5

Beautiful specimen, nice blog!

C.D. Harrell

Level 3

I appreciate it!

Mike

Level 7

I always enjoyed the story thank. I need one more. You guessed it . 1885. It has to be A/U or better. Thanks again!

"SUN"

Level 6

Coin stories are the best way to stay connected with the hobby.

C.D. Harrell

Level 3

I would have to agree.

TheNumisMaster

Level 5

If you say the words "story coin", nothing comes to mind quite the the Racketeer nickels. Wonderful little capsules of history. You can still find gold plated ones from the time period of Josh Tatum!

Golfer

Level 5

Nice story coin. Wonder how many people got caught trying to use a gold plated nickel on someone who knew? Bet the consequences were not good for the person trying to use one.

Mr. B Coins

Level 4

I never knew the story. Very interesting. thank you for sharing it. I always loved the coin. I think the roman numeral just makes it look classic and classy. Good job. Mr. B

C.D. Harrell

Level 3

I agree! The Roman numeral V on the reverse is quite classy.

coinsbygary

Level 5

I have always found this story and the accompanying coin fascinating! Nice coin! I have an MS-66 1883 no-cents nickel in my own collection.

C.D. Harrell

Level 3

MS and proof Liberty head nickels are beautiful coins!

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