– Liberty Nickel (1883 - 1913)

The Liberty Nickel, minted from 1883 to 1913, is a significant and iconic piece of American numismatic history. Designed by Charles E. Barber, the Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, the Liberty Nickel replaced the Shield Nickel and introduced a new design that would endure for three decades. 

The obverse of the Liberty Nickel features a left-facing bust of Liberty wearing a crown with the word "LIBERTY" inscribed on it.  

The design is simple yet elegant, with a focus on the facial features of Liberty and minimal ornamentation. This portrayal of Liberty reflects the neoclassical artistic style popular during the late 19th century, evoking a sense of grace, dignity, and national pride. 

The reverse of the coin features a large "V" surrounded by a wreath of laurel leaves and oak branches, symbolizing victory and strength.  

Below the "V" is the inscription "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," and above is the motto "E PLURIBUS UNUM." The denomination "FIVE CENTS" appears below the wreath. 

One of the most notable aspects of the Liberty Nickel series is the controversy surrounding its introduction in 1883. The initial design did not include the word "CENTS" on the reverse, leading to widespread confusion and fraud as unscrupulous individuals gold-plated the new nickels and passed them off as five-dollar gold coins .

The Liberty Nickel was minted using a composition of 75% copper and 25% nickel, giving the coin its distinctive whitish appearance and improved durability compared to previous issues.  

Varieties and Die Variations: Like many coins of its era, the 1942 Mercury Dime has varieties and die variations that can add interest to a collector's pursuit. Varieties may include differences in mint marks or slight design variations.  

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