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Nickel Rambling


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Hey all,

I am working on filling albums of 20th century sets,.....still working on anything over over 100$ though, ugh :lol: sucks to be a poor college kid with a ambitious hobby haha. Anway, none of these sets include uncs, (except for most of the clads and the occasional silver), they are just nice evenly worn F+ coins. After collecting most of these coins the one that really got my attention was the Jefferson Nickel set. It was just something about them that made me want to dig through my change jars, raid the banks stash, and go in search of nice examples. Now, keeping my sets in nice even wear I've got a pile of pre 66 uncs and a pile of pre 55 G-Au's sittin around. But, in all that I've found I've never come across a full step before 1964. I work with money at a supermarket, in a given day I find 8-15 1964's. I stopped keeping them unless they are Unc's.

( Can anyone tell I have ADD, I've gone so off topic here lol ;) )

 

Anyway THIS is what I am getting at lol, I started to collect the other nickels as well, starting with the shield nickels, working on V's and Buffalos. This is were I ran into some trouble of getting a F grade set in order. I am not getting any of the proofs or varieties other than the design changes, just the regular issues, and I cannot find hardly any shields at a reasonable cost that have a full rim. Did I miss something when I started grading them or did they just generally have poor strikes? I feel I'm normally well informed here, but I can't seem to find much in the way of values when it comes to them. Also the same can go for the V liberty nickel, it's even getting hard to find anything but flat ones at a reasonable price. Maybe it's just Pa lol. ;)

 

If anyone knows where I can get nice clean full rimmed nicely struck examples for a reasonable price, could you let me know!? :ninja:

 

Ok back to rambling. So the nickels have my attention and have gotten my coin juices flowing, now the only problem is finding them all lol. Who else have gotten bit by the nickel bug? I like hearing stories about what get's someone into a series, always gets my interest hehe. So, lets hear'm :cry:

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A challenging type set can indeed very hard to do, and very fulfilling when you manage to complete what you set out to do. Indeed it will be a real challenge if you are looking for high grades, but you should feel good especially when you are still living in a country still blessed with plenty of old coins and actually REAL silver coins!

 

Ironically, when I set out to collect my specialized area, Russian coinages, I set it out mainly because pricewise, it was cheaper than most US coinages. Now it seems the trends are starting to reverse and perhaps some are terribly overrated! :ninja:

 

Now thanks to the crazy market, collecting coins have been extremely difficult as some of the key coins to my type sets, that is if I can find it in the first place, are at least four digits figures even in G grades. :cry: Now isn't that a horror? ;)

 

Good luck with your type set! :lol:

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Shield nickels will be your biggest problem. I've yet to find one in my price range yet not beat to death or nearly worn smooth. Then again I'm rather picky about what goes in my US Type Set.

 

You may want to contact LostDutchman on the board here. He's a dealer and has some really good prices.

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I ran into this same trouble when I wanted to collect early hammered coinage. I didn't go expensive in this, but it was one of my few jumps out of US coinage. The best coin I had about 6 years ago (Which was later stolen! :lol: ) was a 1580 Thaler coin with king (?) on the front holding a sword. I see them on ebay for around 150-300 dollars, but it's so hard to bring myself to ever buy another one because I'm still peeved about it being stolen. Today the only ones I buy are hammered coppers and the occasional cheap silver from colonial Spain and such. Mainly nothing over $50. Gatta love hammered coins! :ninja:

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I like nickels just fine, especially Jeffersons since you can collect nearly a complete set out of change. I've received every date and mintmark in change except the 50-D. That was certainly helpful back when I was a poor college kid in PA more than a decade ago. After that I got a set of Buffalos together, and then I tried a set of Liberty nickels but gave up!

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I think nickels hold a special place for many collectors that started in childhood collecting from circulation (not to say I don't still collect from circulation). From a kids perspective, nickels were larger than both pennies and dimes, and quarters were far too valuable to hoard. Hell, a quarter was my weekly allowance! I started with pennies as a kid, but nickles always seemed more interesting even then. The size of the nickel also allows for slightly more room for the design, with the buffalo being one of the most popular designs in all of US coinage. This popularity with all levels of collector is what drives up the prices on both the lower and higher ends of the spectrum and makes it harder to get well circulated pieces for low prices like you can with some other coins. The good news is that you are still young. If you pick up just one or two shield nickels a year, you'll be done in no time. Of course, there are a lot of weak strikes. Good luck finding a deal on the 79-81.

Dave

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I think nickels hold a special place for many collectors that started in childhood collecting from circulation (not to say I don't still collect from circulation).  From a kids perspective, nickels were larger than both pennies and dimes, and quarters were far too valuable to hoard.  Hell, a quarter was my weekly allowance!  ...

 

 

Not only that, but coming across dimes and quarters pre-'64 from general circulation was not as common because of the silver element. Nickels did not suffer from this hoarding, so coming across older nickels in pocket change was quite common.

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Yeah that is definately one of the reasons you can find old nickels, but finding old Uncs are another thing. Because they weren't hoarded, they were kept in circulation to wear to nothing. I've found 2 1938 uncs and one 39 unc in the 4 years I've been working at a supermarket, on the other hand I've found dozens of unc silver dimes, a total of 8.00 face value as of last week. I even get a walker or franklin half about every once in a great while, total of 3 franklins and 2 walkers so far. But worn to nearly base value, AG-VG average on them. Anyway here is a question, whats the best thing, or oldest thing you've ever found in change? Mine would be a 1889 V nickel as oldest and best was a 1916 D walker half. I also found a 1916 mercury once....too bad it wasnt the rare one lol. :ninja:

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Cu/ Ni is one of the toughest of all metals to coin. It is very hard and erodes the dies very rapidly. There also seems to be a tendency for small changes in spacing and pressure to have a huge effect on the finished product. The strip from which planchets are cut can be difficult to get uniform and smooth. There was very little experience, anywhere, with coining this material when the shield nickel was begun and the mint had a lot of trouble with it especially in the early years. Attractive shield nickels can be tough in nearly any grade.

 

The mint had similar problems with the first clad coins but solved it by just spacing the dies farther apart since we were in the middle of a coin shortage. The first zinc cents were also mostly attrocious and have many plating problems. The '82 to '85 issues are all going to be scarce someday without massive corrosion problems and in gem condition.

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Good point. I only have 3 full rim shield nickels and the best is graded as a unc details: Scratch rev. (Which is only like 1/4 a mm long and hard to spot) Beauty of a coin, it's the one that made me want to get the entire non-proof set. I really don't think they had good strikes on most nickels until the late 80's early 90's. It just seems like finding a full step example older than that gets a little tough, and anything older than a jefferson just gets tough to find in great shape without paying a hefty premium.

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