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1883 LIberty nickel Cents vs. No Cents Values and why

I've just recently got back into collecting again and I'm really fascinated by the history behind certain coins. I'm curious why the 1883 "No CENTS" variety is worth far less than the 1883 With CENTS variety when the mintage of the "With Cents" is shown at 16,026,200 vs. 5,474,300 for the "No CENTS" variety. Additionally, it seems like many of the "No CENTS" variety would have been taken out of circulation as many were gold plated (racketeer nickels).

Comments

  • AndyKAndyK Posts: 58 ✭✭✭

    Interesting read, thank you.

  • ConnecticoinConnecticoin Posts: 12,506 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Kinda of like 1931-S cents. Second lowest mintage in Lincoln series, but roughly one third the coin's mintage allegedly was hoarded.

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,930 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Back in my early collecting days (the early 1960's) a friend had a half roll of 1883 "No Cents" Liberty Nickels that a relative had pulled from circulation shortly after they were issued. They were all what we would have called high end AU's in those days though many would probably have MS numbers if graded today. Apparently the relative was not a coin collector but just heard that they were going to be "valuable". Coin collecting (or hoarding) was more common at the time than most collectors would suspect since all we really hear about these days are the well known and wealthy collectors of the gilded age.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,783 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @291fifth said:
    Back in my early collecting days (the early 1960's) a friend had a half roll of 1883 "No Cents" Liberty Nickels that a relative had pulled from circulation shortly after they were issued. They were all what we would have called high end AU's in those days though many would probably have MS numbers if graded today. Apparently the relative was not a coin collector but just heard that they were going to be "valuable". Coin collecting (or hoarding) was more common at the time than most collectors would suspect since all we really hear about these days are the well known and wealthy collectors of the gilded age.

    It's kinda surprising folks were even able to afford hoarding them back then.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,930 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @OAKSTAR said:

    @291fifth said:
    Back in my early collecting days (the early 1960's) a friend had a half roll of 1883 "No Cents" Liberty Nickels that a relative had pulled from circulation shortly after they were issued. They were all what we would have called high end AU's in those days though many would probably have MS numbers if graded today. Apparently the relative was not a coin collector but just heard that they were going to be "valuable". Coin collecting (or hoarding) was more common at the time than most collectors would suspect since all we really hear about these days are the well known and wealthy collectors of the gilded age.

    It's kinda surprising folks were even able to afford hoarding them back then.

    Hoarding of "No Stars" Liberty Seated coinage apparently went on in 1837. The history of the middle and lower classes is largely lost. All we usually hear about are the rich and famous.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • MapsOnFireMapsOnFire Posts: 189 ✭✭✭

    I seem to remember that Eliasberg had dozens of rolls of uncirculated 1883 "no cents" nickels. Individual coins are common everywhere and always have been so.
    The "with cents" variety was not saved.

  • OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,783 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @braddick- And I guess that's why we usually always see AU or better "No Cents" in albums today.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,142 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 10, 2023 4:45PM

    @AndyK said:
    Additionally, it seems like many of the "No CENTS" variety would have been taken out of circulation as many were gold plated (racketeer nickels).

    The number of genuine racketeer nickels is quite small. Most that you see - any that show even a trace of wear - are later. Call them "contemporary counterfeits" if you want to be generous. The only ones successfully passed were those right after the V Nickel was introduced. Stories (not Josh Tatum, that's bunk, but newspaper stories) about the new coins being plated to pass show up fairly quickly.

    Also to be truly likely to pass you would have to have hand-cut reeds on the coin before you could plate it. A time-consuming process that would further reduce the number made.

    As for why the NO CENTS are more common in collections despite the mintage disparity, almost every new coin is more commonly saved than the one right after it, either the next year or an immediate design change the same year.

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
  • ChevyroseChevyrose Posts: 225 ✭✭✭

    I always though it was an ugly coin

  • OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,783 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Chevyrose said:
    I always though it was an ugly coin

    Hey- You're ugly!

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

  • ChevyroseChevyrose Posts: 225 ✭✭✭

    Nah seriously miss liberty is way hotter on the barber dime

  • OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,783 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Chevyrose said:
    Nah seriously miss liberty is way hotter on the barber dime

    Hey- You're still ugly! 🤣 😂

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

  • WCCWCC Posts: 2,352 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @OAKSTAR said:

    @291fifth said:
    Back in my early collecting days (the early 1960's) a friend had a half roll of 1883 "No Cents" Liberty Nickels that a relative had pulled from circulation shortly after they were issued. They were all what we would have called high end AU's in those days though many would probably have MS numbers if graded today. Apparently the relative was not a coin collector but just heard that they were going to be "valuable". Coin collecting (or hoarding) was more common at the time than most collectors would suspect since all we really hear about these days are the well known and wealthy collectors of the gilded age.

    It's kinda surprising folks were even able to afford hoarding them back then.

    It's a low FV denomination. There must have been a decent number on the east coast where the coins predominantly circulated who could afford the $2 for a roll.

  • AndyKAndyK Posts: 58 ✭✭✭
    edited January 16, 2023 8:57PM

    When I was at my local coin show in Tucson yesterday I came across this very cool Racketeer nickel for $35 and decided to buy it. Another vendor, a booth over, just happened to tell me a story that I found to me more interesting than the nickel itself. I decided to look into it and it seems to have (at lease some) validity:

    "Just joshing you" came from the late 1800's and has a very interesting story behind it! Josh Tatum was a deaf mute, but a very enterprising young man from the Midwest. In 1883 the US Mint came out with a new nickel. It was deemed the Liberty Head Nickel and on the reverse side had a large roman numeral V stamped on it.

    The new nickel did not have the word "cents" or "nickel" stamped on it. Josh Tatum noticed this and the fact that it was nearly the same size as the US $5.00 gold piece, which at the time was used as common currency. With the help of a friend familiar in gold electroplating… (sorry, I lost a page here, but you’ll still get the idea: Josh and his friend turned these coins into replicas of the $5 coin. Josh used them) at stores & mercantiles. He was very careful not to purchase anything that cost more than a nickel.

    The clerk would accept the coin, and in most instances give Josh back $4.95 in change, which he happily would take. By the time law enforcement caught up to him, he had visited hundreds of towns & had amassed a small fortune. The Law prosecuted him but ironically he was found not guilty on the most serious charges, because he only purchased items that totaled 5 cents, and because he was deaf & could not speak, he never represented that it was a new $5.00 gold piece.

    The same year, the US mint added the word "cents" to the Liberty Head Nickle in an effort to bring this type of fraud to a halt. Hence the famous saying "you're not Joshing me are you"?

  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,244 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great story if true. I have a feeling and not factual at all, just a feeling, that most hoarded coins were saved by people in the money game, store owners, bankers and their employees and others who may have some knowledge of coin values beyond face amount. I do not think average workers without some numismatic knowledge had the funds to spend $2 to put away a roll of nickels even if they could get to a bank in order to gain ownership of one. Again, just a thought.
    Jim


    When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest....Abraham Lincoln

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.....Mark Twain
  • dbldie55dbldie55 Posts: 7,719 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MapsOnFire said:
    I seem to remember that Eliasberg had dozens of rolls of uncirculated 1883 "no cents" nickels. Individual coins are common everywhere and always have been so.
    The "with cents" variety was not saved.

    The Eliasberg auction had 99 coins from 2 + rolls in it.

    As for the "Just Joshing you", there is no truth to it.

    As for the original question. When they decided to change the reverse after less than two months, it was thought that the No Cents coins would be recalled. Thinking they would become valuable,many were set aside. The same is not true for the with cents type.

    Just look at the pop numbers and you will see why the no cents are valued less that the "higher mintage" with cents.

    Currently there are nearly 7 times the number of MS64 graded No Cents than with cents.

    Collector and Researcher of Liberty Head Nickels. ANA LM-6053
  • dsessomdsessom Posts: 2,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 19, 2023 8:52AM

    @OAKSTAR said:

    @291fifth said:
    Back in my early collecting days (the early 1960's) a friend had a half roll of 1883 "No Cents" Liberty Nickels that a relative had pulled from circulation shortly after they were issued. They were all what we would have called high end AU's in those days though many would probably have MS numbers if graded today. Apparently the relative was not a coin collector but just heard that they were going to be "valuable". Coin collecting (or hoarding) was more common at the time than most collectors would suspect since all we really hear about these days are the well known and wealthy collectors of the gilded age.

    It's kinda surprising folks were even able to afford hoarding them back then.

    A nickel, back in 1883 would have the buying power of about $1.50 today. An entire roll of them (40) would be about equivalent to $60 now, so I believe most people would be able to afford to hoard a roll or two if they wanted to.

    With the combination of it being the first issue of a series immediately after the Shield nickel, AND the fact that they were promptly discontinued a few months later, in favor of the "With cents" issue, is the reason so many were hoarded, and the reason why they are more common today.

    Here is mine, and it's one of my favorites in my registry set, despite it being the most common...

  • OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,783 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @dsessom- That works for me.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

  • ElcontadorElcontador Posts: 7,416 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's like the 38 D Buffalo nickel. Only 7 million made, but most of them were not circulated. I bought one in the late 1960s for $1; the coin shop had rolls of them in Unc.

    "Vou invadir o Nordeste,
    "Seu cabra da peste,
    "Sou Mangueira......."
  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,471 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The one exception is the 1883 No Cents Nickel in Proof. That one brings a premium because it's a one year Proof type coin.


    Here's the closest thing I have even seen to a "racketeer nickel."


    The obverse had to sell the deception because the reverse, without an eagle, certainly should have not.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?

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