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finally the lake gives up something good


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First year Charles Barber designed "Liberty Head Nickel", (V nickel) .. first produced in 1883, but the first run didn't come with the word 'cents' on the back .. midway through the first year production they added the word cents to the back .. this one has 'cents' on the back .. because of the lack of that word some enterprising people of the day gold plated them and passed them off as a very similar looking five dollar gold piece .. there is a story of one man who was a deaf-mute .. he would go into a smoke shop and point at a five cent cigar .. when the counterman gave it to him .. he would place one of these gold plated nickels on the counter .. the salesman would then give him $4.95 in change, thinking it was a five dollar gold piece .. he really never said it was anything other than a nickel and only purchased a nickel's worth of a cigar .. but in 1883, $4.95 was a good bit of change and he did this at many smoke shops.

This coin was found in knee deep water, where I have been clearing a lot of trash .. you can see on the face of liberty that a bit of the original finish is left .. preserved by something on the bottom of the lake .. the rest cleaned off over the years of being in the water and sandy bottom .. probably lying in the spot I found it for a hundred and thirty years .. I call this spot "nickel beach" .. as every time I hunt there I come home with a few nickels .. one buffalo, this V nickel and a bunch of jeffersons.

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Great find Scott - and a great story as well. I imagine the shop owners were quite upset when (or if) they found out it was plated and not real. But I guess it is their fault for not noticing the slight differences in the headwear. I have found 3 total...one 1900 and two 1901 if my memory serves me right. One of them right on the surface of a gopher hole.


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