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Value of Liberty Head Nickels

Updated on February 2, 2012

Value of Liberty Head Nickels

The Liberty Head Nickel is best known as the most valuable Nickel. This is referring to the five 1913 Liberty Head Nickels in existence that each have values of well over a million dollars. Chances are that you’ll never get a hold of one of these, but there is still plenty of value left in the rest of the collection. With the last of the Liberty V Nickels struck almost 100 years ago, these coins have become a highly priced collection. If you have some stored away somewhere, you might just have a little more value than you thought. Covered in this article is the history, metal compositions and vales for the rare Liberty Head Nickels.


Value of Liberty Head Nickels. Shown above is a 1910 in Fair condition.
Value of Liberty Head Nickels. Shown above is a 1910 in Fair condition.
Liberty Head Nickel Reverse.
Liberty Head Nickel Reverse.

History of the Liberty Head Nickel:

  • Designed by Charles E. Barber, the Liberty Head Nickel, often referred to as the Liberty V Nickel, was first minted for circulation in 1883.
  • The original design of 1883 featured a Nickel without the word “CENTS.” The word was added later that year, because counterfeiters were gold plating these CENT-less nickels and passing them off as $5 coins.
  • The Liberty Head Nickels were struck for circulation during the years of 1883-1912. Mintmarks appeared only in 1912 on the reverse of the coin to the left of the word CENTS.
  • Five known Liberty Head Nickels were struck but never were intended to circulate. The known examples belong to museums and private collections.


Composition and Melt Value:

  • Weight – 5 Grams
  • Metal Composition – 75% Copper, 25% Nickel
  • Melt Value - $.06


Value of Liberty Head Nickels:

The good news for coin collectors is that there is much value to be found with Liberty Head Nickels. Even the most common dates in G-4 condition are worth forty times their face value. Here’s a list of valuable key and semi key dates from the Liberty Head Nickel Collection:

1891 Liberty Head Nickel Proof. Photo Courtesy
1891 Liberty Head Nickel Proof. Photo Courtesy

Did You Know?

The exact value of your Liberty Head Nickel depends on the "Grade" it's in. If you're unaware of how to grade coins, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Coin Grading Scale.

Key Dates:

  • 1885 – Valued at $500-2,000+
  • 1886 – Valued at $225-1,000+
  • 1912S – Valued at $150-1,500+
  • 1913S – Five Known. Valued at $1,000,000+

Semi Key Dates:

  • 1883 – With CENTS. Valued at $15-210
  • 1884 – Valued at $22-300
  • 1888 – Valued at $20-325
  • 1894 – Valued at $15-375
  • 1896 – Valued at $10-200

Even if you don't have a key or semi key, you've still managed to hang onto a pretty cool piece of history. As a part of the Barber Coinage, the Liberty Head Nickel was one of the most hated designs in all U.S. Mint history. Many people didn't save these coins, but now they've come to fame. Thank you for reading my article on the Value of Liberty Head Nickels.



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    • profile image

      Ruby Robinson 

      24 months ago

      Well its actually a question. I've got a 1912 Liberty Head nickel, if I wanted to sell it, what's the first thing I should do?

    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 

      5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      I collect coins, and have quite a few of these.


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