Close

THE OFFICIAL RED BOOK®

Shield (1866 - 1883)

The Shield type nickel was made possible by the Act of May 16, 1866. Its weight was set at 77-16/100 grains (5 grams), with the same composition as the nickel three-cent piece that was authorized in 1865, and an obverse design similar to that of the two-cent coin. In 1866 the coin was designed with rays between the stars on the reverse. Some of the pieces minted in 1867 have the same details, but later the rays were eliminated, creating two varieties for that year. There was no further change in the type until it was replaced by the Liberty Head design in 1883. Only Proof pieces were struck in 1877 and 1878.

Shield (1866 - 1883)
1866 - 1867 | 1867 - 1883

Variety 1, Rays Between Stars (1866 - 1867)

Coin Attributes

  • Design Years: 1866 - 1867
    Designer: James B. Longacre
    Weight: 5.000 grams
    Diameter:20.5 mm
    Composition:
    • 0.7500 copper, 0.2500 nickel
    Edge: plain

Variety 2, Without Rays (1867 - 1883)

Coin Attributes

  • Design Years: 1867 - 1883
    Designer: James B. Longacre
    Weight: 5.000 grams
    Diameter:20.5 mm
    Composition:
    • 0.7500 copper, 0.2500 nickel
    Edge: plain
Grade Price Guide
Circ|MS|PF
  • Description
  • Mintage
  • G-4 Good. Good.
  • VG-8 Very Good. Very Good.
  • F-12 Fine. Fine.
  • VF-20 Very Fine. Very Fine.
  • EF-40 Extremely Fine. Extremely Fine.
  • AU-50 About Uncirculated. About Uncirculated.
  • MS-60 Uncirculated. Uncirculated.
  • MS-63 Choice Uncirculated. Choice Uncirculated.
  • MS-64 Very Choice Unc.. Very Choice Unc..
  • MS-65 Gem Uncirculated. Gem Uncirculated.
  • MS-66 Gem Unc.. Gem Unc..
  • PF-63 Choice Proof. Choice Proof.
  • PF-64 Gem Proof. Gem Proof.
  • PF-65 Gem Proof. Gem Proof.
  • PF-66 Gem Proof. Gem Proof.
  • PF-66Cam Proof. Proof.
  • 1866, Rays
  • 14,742,500
    • 1867, Rays
    • 2,019,000
      • Description
      • Mintage
      • G-4 Good. Good. Eagle, wreath, bust outlined but lack details. Eagle, wreath, bust outlined but lack details. Eagle, wreath, bust outlined but lack details. Eagle, wreath, bust outlined but lack details.
      • VG-8 Very Good. Very Good. Some details on face. All lettering legible. Some details on face. All lettering legible. Some details on face. All lettering legible. Some details on face. All lettering legible.
      • F-12 Fine. Fine. Hair ends visible. Hair at top smooth. Hair ends visible. Hair at top smooth. Hair ends visible. Hair at top smooth. Hair ends visible. Hair at top smooth.
      • VF-20 Very Fine. Very Fine. Hair lines at top visible. Hair about ear defined. Hair lines at top visible. Hair about ear defined. Hair lines at top visible. Hair about ear defined. Hair lines at top visible. Hair about ear defined.
      • EF-40 Extremely Fine. Extremely Fine. Hair above forehead and at neck well defined but shows some wear. Hair above forehead and at neck well defined but shows some wear. Hair above forehead and at neck well defined but shows some wear. Hair above forehead and at neck well defined but shows some wear.
      • AU-50 About Uncirculated. About Uncirculated. Slight wear on high waves of hair, near ear and face, and on head and tips of eagle's wings. Slight wear on high waves of hair, near ear and face, and on head and tips of eagle's wings. Slight wear on high waves of hair, near ear and face, and on head and tips of eagle's wings. Slight wear on high waves of hair, near ear and face, and on head and tips of eagle's wings.
      • MS-60 Uncirculated. Uncirculated. No trace of wear. Light blemishes. No trace of wear. Light blemishes. No trace of wear. Light blemishes. No trace of wear. Light blemishes.
      • MS-63 Choice Uncirculated. Choice Uncirculated. Some distracting contact marks or blemishes in prime focal areas. Impaired luster possible. Some distracting contact marks or blemishes in prime focal areas. Impaired luster possible. Some distracting contact marks or blemishes in prime focal areas. Impaired luster possible. Some distracting contact marks or blemishes in prime focal areas. Impaired luster possible.
      • MS-64 Very Choice Unc.. Very Choice Unc..
      • MS-65 Gem Uncirculated. Gem Uncirculated.
      • MS-66 Gem Unc.. Gem Unc..
      • PF-40 PF-40. PF-40.
      • PF-63 Choice Proof. Choice Proof.
      • PF-64 Gem Proof. Gem Proof.
      • PF-65 Gem Proof. Gem Proof.
      • PF-66 Gem Proof. Gem Proof.
      • PF-66Cam Proof. Proof.
      • 1867, No Rays
      • 28,890,500
        • 1868
        • 28,817,000
          • 1869
          • 16,395,000
            • 1870
            • 4,806,000
              • 1871
              • 561,000
                • 1872
                • 6,036,000
                  • 1873, Close 3
                  • 436,050
                    • 1873, Open 3
                    • 4,113,950
                      • 1874
                      • 3,538,000
                        • 1875
                        • 2,097,000
                          • 1876
                          • 2,530,000
                            • 1879

                              1879

                              Nickel Five-Cent Pieces Shield (1866 - 1883) 1879
                              Nickel Five-Cent Pieces Shield (1866 - 1883) 1879
                            • 25,900
                            • 375
                            • 1879, Proof
                            • 3,200
                              • 1880

                                1880

                                Nickel Five-Cent Pieces Shield (1866 - 1883) 1880
                                Nickel Five-Cent Pieces Shield (1866 - 1883) 1880
                              • 16,000
                              • 475
                              • 1881

                                1881

                                Nickel Five-Cent Pieces Shield (1866 - 1883) 1881
                                Nickel Five-Cent Pieces Shield (1866 - 1883) 1881
                              • 68,800
                              • 250
                              • 1882
                              • 11,472,900
                                • 1883
                                • 1,451,500
                                  • Description
                                  • Mintage
                                  • G-4
                                  • VG-8
                                  • F-12
                                  • VF-20
                                  • EF-40
                                  • AU-50
                                  • MS-60
                                  • MS-63
                                  • MS-64
                                  • MS-65
                                  • MS-66
                                  • PF-40
                                  • PF-63
                                  • PF-64
                                  • PF-65
                                  • PF-66
                                  • PF-66Cam
                                  • 1866, Rays
                                  • 14,742,500
                                    • 1867, Rays
                                    • 2,019,000
                                      • 1867, No Rays
                                      • 28,890,500
                                        • 1868
                                        • 28,817,000
                                          • 1869
                                          • 16,395,000
                                            • 1870
                                            • 4,806,000
                                              • 1871
                                              • 561,000
                                                • 1872
                                                • 6,036,000
                                                  • 1873, Close 3
                                                  • 436,050
                                                    • 1873, Open 3
                                                    • 4,113,950
                                                      • 1874
                                                      • 3,538,000
                                                        • 1875
                                                        • 2,097,000
                                                          • 1876
                                                          • 2,530,000
                                                            • 1879

                                                              1879

                                                              Nickel Five-Cent Pieces Shield (1866 - 1883) 1879
                                                              Nickel Five-Cent Pieces Shield (1866 - 1883) 1879
                                                            • 25,900
                                                            • 375
                                                            • 1879, Proof
                                                            • 3,200
                                                              • 1880

                                                                1880

                                                                Nickel Five-Cent Pieces Shield (1866 - 1883) 1880
                                                                Nickel Five-Cent Pieces Shield (1866 - 1883) 1880
                                                              • 16,000
                                                              • 475
                                                              • 1881

                                                                1881

                                                                Nickel Five-Cent Pieces Shield (1866 - 1883) 1881
                                                                Nickel Five-Cent Pieces Shield (1866 - 1883) 1881
                                                              • 68,800
                                                              • 250
                                                              • 1882
                                                              • 11,472,900
                                                                • 1883
                                                                • 1,451,500
                                                                  Want To See More Pricing?
                                                                  Subscribe to Red Book Online to see professional pricing for United States coins from the most trusted name in coin publishing.
                                                                   Easy Coin Pricing in Seconds
                                                                   In-Depth Coin History
                                                                   Detailed Coin Grading Guide
                                                                  Start 14-Day Trial Now!
                                                                  Already Subscribed?
                                                                  Loading. Press escape to cancel.