Special Sub-Topic: US Nickels
|What was the first US nickel design?|
Shield. The Shield Nickel is an interesting type of nickel, having no portrait, but a shield on the obverse, and a large 5 surrounded by stars on the reverse. Although most US coin denominations were first officially minted between 1793 and 1796, the US nickel wasn't first minted until 1866 due to the denomination of half dimes being minted from 1794-1873.
|What is the rarest US nickel ever minted?|
1913 Liberty Head. The 1913 Liberty Head nickel is the rarest US nickel ever made with only five known, but there is a hint that there may be a sixth coin. These were not a regular issue and never placed in circulation despite being legal tender. The most likely cause for the minting of these coins is that a worker at the mint who hated to see the old dies retired and destroyed for the change to the Bison nickel, snuck into the mint the night before the dies were scheduled to be destroyed and struck the five specimens. The finest-known example is valued at over $5 million.
|Who was the designer of the Bison nickel?|
James Earle Fraser. The bison on the reverse of a Bison nickel is thought to be designed after a bison named Black Diamond in the Central Park Zoo. Also, a rare error variety of Bison nickel was created in 1937. On this variety, the bison only has three legs instead of four. This error was created from the grinding an area of the dies that had marks from die clashings, but the worker who corrected these dies mistakenly ground off part of the Bison's foreleg as well.
|What appears on the obverse of the Bison nickel?|
A Native American. James Earle Fraser employed three different Native Americans as models for the obverse of the Bison nickel. An interesting side note on these nickels is that a large number of Bison nickels do not have a date. This is because the date was placed on a high point of the design, which caused the date to be one of the first things to wear off in circulation. This was also a problem on the Standing Liberty quarter series.
|What year was the Jefferson nickel first minted?|
1938. The Jefferson nickel has been minted from 1938 to date and was designed by Felix Schlag. The Jefferson nickel was also one of only a few US coins to be minted in a year that had two different designs. 1938 was the last year of the Bison nickel and the first year of the Jefferson nickel.
|What is the silver content of a US wartime alloy nickel?
35%. Silver war nickels were minted from 1942-1945 and are composed of 56% copper, 35% silver, and 9% manganese. The change of metal was due to the need of nickel for the war effort. The cent also had a change of metal. In 1943, cents were composed of steel, and in 1944 to 1946 they were composed of salvaged cartridge cases. The war nickel was also the first US coin to bear the Philadelphia mint mark.
|A Bison appears on more than one different US nickel designs.|
t. So far, a Bison appears on the Bison nickel, minted 1913-1938, and on a Westward Journey nickel minted in 2005. The Bison designs on nickels are favored because it has become an American icon due to the great herds that once roamed the country.
|A nickel composed entirely of copper has been minted.|
f. Nickels have been made of up to 75% copper, but none entirely of copper. But some people would plate the 1883 Liberty nickel in gold. That was because the Liberty nickel did not say "cents" in 1883, it only had a large V. Once they plated these coins, they would then spend them as a five dollar gold piece. Due to this problem, the mint added the word "cents" to the nickel in 1883.
|How many different designs of Westward Journey nickel were minted?|
five. The five different types of Westward Journey nickel are the Peace Medal, a Keelboat, an American Bison, the Ocean in View, and the Return to Monticello. These different designs were to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition which began on August 30th, 1804.
|The word "nickel" appears on all US nickels.|
f. All US nickels minted have said five cents, the word nickel has never been used. All other recent coins though, have said one cent, one dime, one quarter, etc. This is because those words denote the denomination of the coin, but the word nickel is simply a nickname given to these coins due to nickel in them.
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