The 1886 Liberty Nickel (Buy on eBay) is considered a semi-key date issue of the series. While this number may not seem low in the absolute sense, it was low in comparison to many other years of the series which had mintages above 10 million. Additionally, similar to the prior issue, the coins entered circulation shortly after production and very few were saved. Decades later when coin collecting had grown in popularity and sets were assembled, the remaining examples of this coin were well worn and scarce.
The Philadelphia Mint struck proof examples of the coin for collectors of the day. The proof mintage was 4,290 pieces, which was somewhat higher than typical. As is the case for most issues of the series, the proofs had a much higher survival rate resulting in wider availability and lower prices.
- Designer: Charles E. Barber
- Composition: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel
- Weight: 5 grams
- Diameter: 21.2 mm
- Edge: Plain