Goldberg Coins and Collectibles



Sale 74

June Long Beach Coin Auction


Shield Nickels
 
 
Lot Photo Description Realized
Lot 2633
1866 Shield Nickel. PCGS graded MS-65. CAC Approved PQ. Well struck with light even toning. Pop 133; 29 finer in 66. A sharp-looking coin. Business strike Shield nickels appear to be one of the more undervalued areas in the coin market today. They are very scarce in an absolute sense, especially in comparison to their Proof counterparts, and are also very challenging to locate in better-than-Gem grades. This is a brilliant coin that displays generous, thickly frosted surfaces whose only imperfections are Mint-made die clashing and slight softness of strike as seen on the shield and in the stars surrounding the denomination on the reverse (PCGS # 3790) .
Estimated Value $1,800 - 1,900.
The Coltrin Family Collection.

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$2,530
Lot 2634
1867 Shield Nickel. Rays. NGC graded Proof 66 Cameo. A glittering untoned gem example. About 25 or so Proofs made. Pop 2; 2 finer in 66*

Introduced in 1866, the Five-cent piece struck in nickel would soon replace the silver Half Dime, whose time ended in 1873. This workhorse denomination has remained an integral part of the United States' circulating coinage ever since. The origins for this denomination can be found in the turmoil of the war between the US and Confederate States. When specie payments were suspended during the early part of that conflict in 1861-62, silver coins rapidly disappeared from circulation in the eastern part of the country. The Half Dime was eventually replaced in circulation not by this Shield Nickel but by Five-Cent Fractional Currency notes. Although widely disliked, these notes kept on circulating after Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse in 1865, because specie payments remained in suspension. In order to provide an increasingly strident public with an alternative to this currency, Congress followed the precedent set by the Three-Cent Nickel in 1865 and authorized a Five-Cent Nickel with the Act of May 16, 1866. (Breen, 1988, goes into great detail to explain how the originally proposed weight for this denomination at 30 grs. was continuously increased until Congress eventually settled on 77.16 grs. The author opines that this increased weight was chosen as a sop to Joseph Wharton, the owner of a monopoly on nickel mines.)

James B. Longacre, the Mints proficient engraver, readied the first design for the denomination whose name has since been shortened simply to Nickel. The obverse displays a shield with crossed arrows at its base, an inverted laurel wreath around, and a broad cross at the top. For his reverse, Longacre selected a large numeral 5 to form the centerpiece, thereby distinguishing this design from the Roman numeral III on the Three-cent Nickel coin introduced the previous year. Thirteen stars form a circle around this digit, 13 rays interspersed between the stars, all harking back to the original 13 colonies. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is at the top, and the word CENTS is at the bottom.

The reverse rays proved problematic from the start on the production coins, impairing striking quality for many 1866 and early 1867 circulation strikes. This aspect of the design also drew pointed criticism from many who believed that the "stars and bars" reverse of the original Shield Nickel was intended to honor the recently defeated Confederacy. When these complaints, and probably others, reached Treasury Secretary McCulloch, he promptly ordered that the rays be removed from the reverse, this decision coming on January 21, 1867. Production was thus interrupted so that the new design without the rays could be implemented beginning February 1.

Although coming early in the year, Secretary McCulloch's order to drop the rays from the reverse of the Shield Nickel allowed time for a reasonably large mintage for the business strike 1867 Rays Nickel. As such, that issue is usually readily obtainable in today's market. The Proof 1867 Rays Nickel, however, is a different story entirely. Per R.W. Julian, these coins were not officially prepared in January of that year for inclusion in Proof sets because Chief Coiner Snowden would not work with the notoriously troublesome design. Julian (as quoted in Peters and Mohon, The Complete Guide to Shield and Liberty Nickels,1993) further believes that the 1867 Rays Nickels were struck, probably covertly, on the order of Mint Director Henry R. Lindermann for distribution to his collector friends. Given the fact that such practices were quite common during Lindermann's two separate terms as Mint Director, this story seems plausible.

Given the circumstances under which it was probably struck, it should come as no surprise that the original mintage for the Proof 1867 Rays Nickel is not known with certainty. Peters and Mohon (1993) asserts that the total is probably on the order of 15-25 pieces. What we do know for certain is that this issue is the foremost rarity in the Proof Shield Nickel series, as well as one of the rarest Nickels of any type in the history of that denomination.

Despite the above mentioned complaints of Mint personnel, the fully brilliant specimen that we are offering in this lot is a very sharply struck Proof. In fact, there are no ill-defined features on either side, not even the reverse star centers exhibiting any softness in their detail. Mirrored finish in the fields contrasts markedly with a frosty cameo finish over the devices. As is expected for the Proof 66 grade, there are no distracting blemishes, and a complete freedom from carbon spotting. A small strike through (as made) in the obverse field before the date should also help trace the pedigree of this undeniable rarity among US Nickels.

The NGC-certified population for this issue suggests more coins in all grades than were probably struck. This total has probably been inflated by resubmissions -- a common practice -- and it makes estimation of the number of coins extant difficult, if not impossible to resolve. In the case of the present specimen, nevertheless, that certification service has seen a mere two pieces in PR-66 Cameo, and two that are reported slightly finer by use of the Star indicator.
Estimated Value $70,000 - 80,000.
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Unsold
Lot 2635
1867 Shield Nickel. Rays. PCGS graded MS-65. A nice untoned coin. Although coming early in the year, Secretary McCulloch's order to drop the rays from the reverse of the Shield Nickel still did not result in an excessively limited mintage for the business strike 1867 Rays Nickel. As such, that issue is usually readily obtainable in today's market, but Gem Mint States of the caliber of coin offered here are decidedly few. Witness the PCGS census: Pop 36; 5 finer, 1 in 65+, 3 in 66, 1 in 67 (PCGS # 3791) .
Estimated Value $3,200 - 3,400.
The Coltrin Family Collection.

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$2,875
Lot 2636
1867 Shield Nickel. No rays. PCGS graded MS-65. CAC Approved PQ. A nice untoned coin. Pop 70; 11 finer in 66 (PCGS # 3794) .
Estimated Value $650 - 700.
The Coltrin Family Collection.

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$920
Lot 2637
1868 Shield Nickel. PCGS graded MS-65. Nice even toning and well struck. Pop 72; 25 finer in 66 (PCGS # 3795) .
Estimated Value $750 - 800.
The Coltrin Family Collection.

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$719
Lot 2638
1868 Shield Nickel. PCGS graded MS-64 PQ CAC Approved. Housed in a First Generation Holder (PCGS # 3795) .
Estimated Value $700 - 750.
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$575
Lot 2639
1869 Shield Nickel. PCGS graded MS-66. Light even toning. Well struck. Satiny with impeccably smooth fields and well struck features that are only lacking on the highpoints of the lower right portion of the shield frame above the date. Delicate die cracks noted (as often with the early Shield Nickels). The 1869 is relatively common at any level of Mint State below this level, though it is especially elusive in Gem and better condition. Low population in MS66: Pop 11; none finer at PCGS (PCGS # 3796) .
Estimated Value $3,200 - 3,400.
The Coltrin Family Collection.

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$2,990
Lot 2640
1870 Shield Nickel. PCGS graded MS-65. CAC Approved PQ. Boldly struck and light even toning. Pop 29; 10 finer in 66. Very choice for the grade. This example is fully brilliant with light gray color and lots of eye appeal (PCGS # 3797) .
Estimated Value $1,800 - 1,900.
The Coltrin Family Collection.

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$2,530
Lot 2641
1871 Shield Nickel. PCGS graded MS-65. Well struck with a few minor obverse flyspecks. Scarcer date in the 1870s. Pop 29; 10 finer in 66 (PCGS # 3798) .
Estimated Value $2,400 - 2,500.
The Coltrin Family Collection.

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$1,725
Lot 2642
1872 Shield Nickel. PCGS graded MS-65. CAC Approved PQ. Light hint of tone. Exceptionally crisp strike. This impressive example has shimmering frosty surfaces whose natural originality causes the light striking it to move lightly and swiftly over the surface. Pop 50; 26 finer (PCGS # 3799) .
Estimated Value $1,600 - 1,700.
The Coltrin Family Collection.

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$2,070
Lot 2643
1873 Shield Nickel. Open 3. PCGS graded MS-65. Well struck with nice light gold toning. The Coinage Act of 1873 changed the United States policy with respect to silver. Before the Act, the United States had backed its currency with both gold and silver, and it minted both types of coins. The Act moved the United States to the gold standard, which meant it would no longer buy silver or mint silver coins from the public on demand, but instead only from approved (that is, politically connected) Western mine owners. Pop 37; 8 finer (PCGS # 3800) .
Estimated Value $2,100 - 2,200.
The Coltrin Family Collection.

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$1,495
Lot 2644
1874 Shield Nickel. PCGS graded MS-65. Well struck and untoned. Bright rolling-fresh finish, bright as when first issued. Difficult to find in a Shield Nickel vintage 1874. Pop 33; 6 finer (PCGS # 3803) .

1874 is the year the Republican party elephant was born -- in a Thomas Nast cartoon in Harper's Weekly attacking a possible 3rd term for Democratic President U. S. Grant.
Estimated Value $1,500 - 1,600.
The Coltrin Family Collection.

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$1,035
Lot 2645
1875 Shield Nickel. NGC graded Proof 66. CAC Approved. Only 700 minted. Light hint of gold tone. The surfaces are radiant, pulsing with nickel gray color under the lovely toning, and quite lustrous. In the period in which this Proof Shield Nickel was made, weak strikes predominate on the business strikes. That is why it is a pleasure to report a strike with preciseness only available (with few exceptions) on the Proofs. Pop 24; 1 finer in 67.
Estimated Value $1,400 - 1,500.
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Realized
$1,840
Lot 2646
1875 Shield Nickel. PCGS graded MS-65. A hint of light gold tone. A lustrous Gem Shield Nickel that has icy nickel-bright color that shoots out beams of vibrancy to the eye of the beholder. That said, now we cover the strike: this coin, unlike many of its date where weakness can be found on some of the shield lines and surrounding foliage, was struck with almost scientific precision on the key design elements. 1875 is also noteworthy as being scarcer than other dates in this outstanding condition, barring 1877 (the Key) and 1878 (a semi-key). Note the PCGS population: Pop 31; 9 finer in 66 (PCGS # 3804) .
Estimated Value $1,300 - 1,400.
The Coltrin Family Collection.

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$1,150
Lot 2647
1876 Shield Nickel. PCGS graded MS-65. Light even golden tone on both sides. Rich luster and eye appeal without measure. A bold representative of the US Centennial Year coinage. Pop 38; 8 finer in 66 (PCGS # 3805) .
Estimated Value $1,500 - 1,600.
The Coltrin Family Collection.

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$1,208
Lot 2648
1876 Shield Nickel. NGC graded Proof 66 Cameo. A brilliant untoned gem with excellent cameo contrast. Boldly made. Centennial year. Approximately 1,150 Proofs struck. Pop 28; 6 finer, 1 in 66+, 1 in 66 Star, 3 in 67, 1 in 67 Star .
Estimated Value $900 - 1,000.
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Realized
$1,150
Lot 2649
1879 Shield Nickel. PCGS graded MS-65. CAC Approved. Only 25,900 struck. Well struck and lightly toned. Pop 30; 23 finer (PCGS # 3808) .

In this historic year, 1879, the first telephone line connecting two American cities was strung between Boston and Lowell, Mass., forever after in direct communication. Also in 1879, A reporter cornered William H. Vanderbilt, head of the New York Central Railroad, demanding an interview and stating that the public was waiting for one. Vanderbilt brushed past him, snapping the immortal words, "The public be damned!" Finally this year, in his second effort to establish a low-priced shopping center, Frank W. Woolworth finally succeeded with a flourishing 5-and-10-cent store in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Estimated Value $2,700 - 2,800.
The Coltrin Family Collection.

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$2,530
Lot 2650
1879 Shield Nickel. NGC graded Proof 65 PQ CAC Approved. Light even toning. Only 3,200 minted. Aesthetically tempting, as fine a looking Proof 65 coin with full strike as you are apt to see, and all the while bristling with bright mint bloom, nothing in the way of problems. Next a word about the strike. The pressure transmitted from the Proof die to the blank reveals itself in sharp shield lines, leaves, stars on the reverse, and all legends.
Estimated Value $550 - 600.
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Realized
$621
Lot 2651
1880 Shield Nickel. PCGS graded Proof 66. CAC Approved PQ. Lovely toning on both sides. A bold example. Only 3,955 minted. Pop 120; 17 finer (PCGS # 3835) .
Estimated Value $950 - 1,000.
The Coltrin Family Collection.

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Lot 2652
1881 Shield Nickel. PCGS graded MS-65. CAC Approved PQ. Only 68,000 minted. Mostly untoned. Pop 36; 18 finer (PCGS # 3811) .

Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the Telephone in 1876, was kept busy in 1881 when he used an experimental metal detector he had invented to find the bullet inside Pres. James A. Garfield who was shot by Charles Guiteau on July 2, 1881. In the evening of July 26, 1881, Bell and an assistant scanned the President back and fourth many times with the apparatus adjusting their equipment. They had a lot of trouble with this experimental run. All in all they believed they detected a slight evidence of the bullet, but it was not reliable enough. On a second attempt with a revised detector the following week, Dr. Bell was still unable to find a definite location for the bullet. Sadly, the president died several days later of infections cause by poor medical practice and not directly from the bullet.
Estimated Value $2,500 - 2,600.
The Coltrin Family Collection.

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$1,955
Lot 2653
1882 Shield Nickel. PCGS graded MS-65 PQ. Untoned with minor die breaks on both sides as made. Pop 176; 80 finer (PCGS # 3812) .
Estimated Value $650 - 700.
The Coltrin Family Collection.

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$575
Lot 2654
1883 Shield Nickel. PCGS graded MS-65. Mostly untoned (PCGS # 3813) .
Estimated Value $600 - 650.
The Coltrin Family Collection.

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$575






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