1880 5C MS (PCGS# 3810)

LB Signature Sale #408

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1880 5C MS65 NGC. Breen-2516. This is the "Dropped 8" variety that Walter Breen mistakenly called a proof-only variety. There is no question that business strikes exist for this variety, including the present coin. The 1880 Shield nickel is a major rarity in business strike format, yet it is quite common in proof format. Several important die markers are visible. In addition to the doubling inside the second 8, there is a raised die lump on the top surface of the upper left curve of S in TRUST. Some proof examples have a small "star-point" projection from the obverse border at 7 o'clock, but that projection is entirely absent on this coin. The reverse of this business strike example has a raised die defect or lump located just below the bottom right serif of the second T in STATES. Several diagonal die lines are visible, including one through the right side of N in UNITED, to the left side of the large 5. This example is a wonderful Gem quality example with extremely sharp obverse and reverse design details. There are no surface imperfections of any significance. Both sides have satiny luster beneath pale champagne toning with tiny golden freckles. There is no doubt that a business strike 1880 Shield nickel is the single rarest issue of the design, the true key to a complete set of these coins. It has only recently received its due, and eventually, market levels should reflect its true rarity. Census: 2 in 65, 0 finer (4/06).
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