If you’re wondering if that well-worn coin in your pocket is one of the most valuable nickels from U.S. history, you’re going to end up disappointed:
The most expensive coins are already in the collector’s hands, on exhibition displays, or hidden behind vault doors.
So swipe down and check out five of the most valuable nickels you’ll never get your hands on (unless you’ve got deep pockets).
5. 1880 Shield Nickel – $88,125
The 1880 Shield Nickels were only produced in 1880m and only 1,600 were ever struck. Today, there is an estimated 100-to-150 remaining. One of these coins was sold at a Heritage Auction for $88,125.
The original 1880 Shield Nickel can be identified with a raised loop below the letters ‘TE’ in the word ‘STATES’. This is a sign that the coin was struck for circulation. Due to its scarcity, this coin is one of the most valuable nickels on the planet.
4. 1867 Rays Shield Cameo Nickel – $109,250
The 1867 Rays Cameo Nickel is known for its amazing design. There is a significant amount of contrast between the raised design and background, known as the Cameo. The frost on the surface of the coin helps to elevate the Cameo designation.
Three different types of dies were used to produce the coin:
However, due to a design issue, the rays in the design were removed early during production. Only a handful of these original coins exist today. One of the 1867 Rays Shield Cameo Nickel was sold at an auction for $109,250.
3. 1927-S Buffalo Nickel – $125,350
The 1927-S Buffalo Nickel was once common amongst circulating coins, yet a mint version is rare:
The 1927-S is one of the three rarest Buffalo Nickels, if found in gem condition. One of these coins was sold at an auction for $125,350 making it to the list of most valuable nickels to exist at the time.
The coin was designed by James Earle Fraser and minted in San Francisco. It is made from 75% copper and 25% Nickel.
CHECK OUT: 5 Most Valuable Dimes From U.S. History
2. 1920-D Regular Strike Buffalo Nickel – $138,000
Nearly 9.5 million 1920-D Regular Buffalo Nickels were produced in Denver and San Francisco Mints, along with 63 million pieces that were produced in Philadelphia:
Yet, only 80 mint condition coins remain today, one of which was sold at auction for $138,000.
This coin, like #3 on this list, was designed by James Earle Fraser, and the original version was 5 grams in weight and 21.2 mm in diameter.
Despite a huge number of these coins being produced, most lacked high detail. This makes owning a mint condition 1920-D Regular Strike Buffalo Nickel an expensive pursuit for collectors.
CHECK OUT: The 5 Rarest Pennies From U.S. History
1. 1913 Liberty Head Nickel – $4.56 Million
The 1913 Liberty Head Nickel is one of the most wanted coins from U.S. history:
Today, only five uncirculated coins exist.
All five coins were once owned by Samuel W. Brown, who later sold to Col. Edward H.R. Green. After Green’s death, his estate sold the coins.
The finest of the five remaining coins, which uniquely has a glittering mirror surface and a planchet lamination at the rim was sold at auction for $4,560,000.