Imagine the following scenario. You just got change and one of the nickels is from 1911—well over a century old! You might be curious about whether that coin is worth anything. Truth be told, it very well could be.
We’re going to take a closer look at the 1911 V-Nickel, its history, as well as the actual price range that it can hold. This article will help you figure out if you should sell it or keep it as a cool memento.
1911 V-Nickel Details
- Year: 1911
- Mint Mark: No mint mark
- Type: Liberty Head V
- Price: $2.50-$115.00+
- Face Value: 0.05 USD
- Mint Location: Philadelphia
- Obverse Designer: Charles E. Barber
- Reverse Designer: Charles E. Barber
- Produced: 39,557,000
- Edge: Smooth
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1911 Liberty V-Nickel Value Chart
1911 Nickel Value Chart
|$1 – $2
|$2 to $5
The 1911 Liberty “V” Nickel is one of a series of nickels minted from 1883 until 1912—with a small handful also released in 1913. The coin series was exceptionally popular during the turn of the century, becoming iconic in its own right.
Many of the coins in the V nickel series remained in heavy use throughout the 1940s and 1950s. The 1911 Liberty V nickel is one of the most recognizable, primarily because it is the most heavily-minted coin in American history. Over 39 million of these nickels were produced.
The V-nickels of the 1910s were some of the last of the series, and incidentally, some of the most heavily-circulated. During this era, a lot of goods could be purchased for five cents, which meant that these coins often were used in transactions on a daily basis.
Due to the fact that they were so heavily circulated, it’s rare to find a 1911 V-nickel in decent condition. Most are heavily worn and will skew towards a lower grade. Finding a near-mint or uncirculated coin is fairly rare despite their high mint number.
You might be curious about why these nickels were often called “V” nickels. It’s simple. The back of each nickel had a very large “V” emblazoned on the center of it.
1911 Liberty V Nickel Variety And Value Guide
1911 Liberty V Nickel No Mint Mark
- Mintage: 39,559,372
- Minted at: Philadelphia (No Mint Mark)
- Designer – Engraver: Charles E Barber
- Metal Composition: 75% Copper – 25% Nickel
- Diameter: 21.2 mm
- Mass / Weight: 5 grams
The 1911 Liberty V nickel remains one of the last nickels to be part of the “V” nickel series. All of the nickels produced in this year were made in Philadelphia, which is why there are no mint marks on the coins.
Due to the high demand for nickels at the turn of the century, the Philadelphia mint had been printing them at maximum capacity. This led the 1911 nickel to being the most widely-distributed coin of all time. However, despite the mintage, the
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1911 Liberty V Nickel History
The 1911 Liberty V-Nickel made records for being the most heavily-circulated coin in US Mint history. It’s also the second-to-last Liberty nickel made, making it one of the final “ends of an era” of coinmaking.
This nickel features a left-facing visage of the Goddess of Liberty, surrounding by 13 stars representing the original 13 colonies. On the back of the coin is a large “V,” acting as the Roman numeral for five. Around the V were a wreath of wheat, cotton, and corn—three of America’s biggest crops at the time.
Unlike newer coins, there were not many differences in coin face from year to year. The only major difference one could see from other years include the lack of a mint marker, the year 1911, and the word “CENT” on the back of the coin instead of “E PLURIBUS UNUM.”
1911 Nickel Grading
Grading a 1911 nickel is fairly easy to do. You can usually tell whether your coin is in good shape if you can make out the fluff of the cotton or are able to delineate the stars. This video will help you grade it accurately.
1911 Nickel Error List
The US mint made a couple of mistakes while printing out these nickels. We’ll go through some of the more unusual ones.
1911 Nickel Double Die Lamination Error
This Liberty Nickel has a lamination error that has a double date stamp. This caused the coin to look “smudged” when it was printed. Like many other error prints, this can increase the price of the coin dramatically. This particular coin is priced at $89.
1911 Nickel Lamination Error
A lamination error occurs when the coin’s print does not fully laminate. This leads to the coin cracking or flaking. Though fairly common, these can marginally increase the price of a coin. This particular lamination error boosted the coin’s price to $8.
1911 Nickel Strike/Planchet Error
A strike error happens when the minter makes an error on striking the die’s impression on a coin. It could be misaligned, incorrectly placed, off-center, or simply unevenly pressed. Weak strikes, multiple strikes, and similar can increase the price of a coin.
A close inspection makes a lot of sense here, since strike errors are some of the most valuable mistakes that can occur on a coin. If you are able to find one of these with a strike error, consider yourself lucky.
1911 Nickel FAQ
What is a 1911 nickel made from?
A 1911 nickel is made from 75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel. They are not entirely nickel, contrary to what the name may suggest.
What is the rarest Liberty Head nickel?
The rarest Liberty Head nickel, also known as a V-nickel, is the 1913 V-nickel. Technically, these were never officially released onto the market and the official line of V-nickels ended in 1912. However, five of these coins were made, making them exceptionally rare.
What is the most expensive V-nickel?
Currently, the most expensive V-nickel in the world is also the rarest. If you are able to afford it, you can buy one of the five 1913 V-nickels in existence for upwards of $5 million. This V-nickel is also one of the most expensive American coins in existence.
Where is the mint mark on a 1911 nickel?
A 1911 nickel has a mint mark in the exact same place as all other V nickels. You can find it on the lower left hand side of the front of the coin, near the dot.