1886 Proof Nickel Three Cent Piece

After two years of extremely low mintages, the Philadelphia Mint did not produce the nickel three cent piece for circulation in 1886. Instead the coins were only struck in proof format for collectors. This was the third time such a situation had occurred during the series.

The 1886 Proof Nickel Three Cent Piece (Buy on eBay) had a mintage of 4,290 pieces, at the high end of the spectrum for the series. The higher original mintage makes the coins relatively available, however the status as a proof-only date adds some extra demand.

Examples are not that difficult to find, but the issue is rare with cameo surfaces. Most examples that have survived show hairlines and other problems, meaning that the discriminating collector needs to spend some time looking for a premium quality example.

Coin Specifications

  • Designer: James B. Longacre
  • Composition: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel
  • Weight: 1.94 grams
  • Diameter: 17.9 mm
  • Edge: Plain