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[1883-1912] Liberty Head "V" Nickels

The Five Cent Piece underwent a full redesign in 1882 when Mint Director A. Loudon Snowden ordered engraver Charles E. Barber to prepare patterns of the denomination. The new Liberty Head Three Cent Piece became known popularly as the V Nickel because of the use of the Roman numeral to denote the 5¢ denomination. The first issuances specified denomination merely with the Roman numeral V and without a mention "cents". As a result some enterprising recipients of lesser scruples quickly began passing them off to the uninitiated as coins of higher value. These "Racketeer Nickels" were often plated in gold and passed off as Five Dollar coins. In 1883 CENTS was added to frustrate such schemes. The V Nickels continued being minted until 1912, though 5 clandestine examples of a 1913 V Nickel were struck.

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