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Stamp and Coin
complete information is available on the CoinFacts
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When the new Liberty Head Nickel was introduced in 1883, no one at the Mint
noticed (or cared) that the word "CENTS" was missing from the
reverse. The omission was noticed by certain enterprising individuals
who, quick to seize an opportunity to make a quick buck, gold-plated the
coins and passed them off as Five Dollar gold pieces. These became
known as "Racketeer" Nickels. True "Racketeer"
Nickels should be in very high grade and the edge should be reeded (this was
done by hand to mimic the edge reeds on a gold piece). Modern versions
are usually low grade and their edges are smooth; they have been produced by
the tens of thousands and are, in effect, rip-offs of a rip-off!
Later in 1883, the Mint
corrected the reverse by moving "E PLURIBUS UNUM" to top center
and replacing it with a bold "CENTS".
The finest Uncirculated examples graded by PCGS are 10 MS-67's.
The finest Proof examples graded by PCGS are 7 PR-67's.
The finest Proof Cameo examples graded by PCGS are 5 PRCA-67's.
The finest Proof Deep Cameo examples graded by PCGS are 2 PRDC-66's.
Sources and/or recommended
"The PCGS Population Report, July 2003" by The
Professional Coin Grading Service