– Shield Nickel (1866 - 1883)

The Shield Nickel, minted from 1866 to 1883, is a significant piece of American numismatic history, representing the first five-cent coin issued by the United States Mint to bear the motto "In God We Trust." 

Designed by James B. Longacre, the Chief Engraver of the Mint, the Shield Nickel was introduced to address the need for a new coinage design that would be more durable and resistant to wear than the previous silver half-dime. 

The obverse of the Shield Nickel features a large shield with thirteen vertical lines representing the original states of the Union. The shield is surrounded by rays, with the inscription "IN GOD WE TRUST" above and the date of mintage below.  

The reverse of the coin features a large numeral "5" surrounded by a wreath of oak and laurel branches, symbolizing strength and victory. 

The denomination "CENTS" appears below the numeral, with the inscription "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" encircling the periphery. 

The Shield 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. 

During its production, the Shield Nickel underwent several modifications to the design, including changes in the size and style of lettering, as well as alterations to the placement of the rays on the obverse.  

Varieties and Die Variations: Like many coins of its era, the 1932-D Washington Quarter has varieties and die variations that can add interest to a collector's pursuit. Varieties may include differences in the design or minting process, such as repunched mint marks or doubled dies.  

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