Mystery Coin: Is this an FS5c-013.1?
On this page, we find a very tricky coin. The 1883/2 FS5c-013.1 has a very distinctive die break present on later die stages. Take a look at the picture immediately below. Is this an FS5c-013.1?
Let's make it a little easier. Here is the mystery coin above on the left and an FS5c-013.1 with the die break on the right.
This is a bit surprising! The die breaks are pretty similar, although the coin on the left appears to have a heavier die break on the right side of the ball. The key thing to notice is that the date position is not the same. While the date position is pretty close horizontally, the coin on the left has the date punched closer to the ball (above the date) than the coin on the right. We can see this quite clearly. The date on the left is punched high enough so that the force of the punch moved some of the metal into the cavity of the ball, creating a very scalloped appearance on the bottom of the ball. The date on the right has a mostly rounded ball above it.
Because the date position is different on the two coins, we can definitely conclude that the coin on the left is not FS5c-013.1. I also do not see an underlying 2 on the coin on the left, and therefore I believe it is not an 1883/2. But if you are flipping through low resolution photos on eBay and think you may have spotted an unattributed FS5c-013.1 due to the presence of the similar die break, all I can say is Caveat Emptor!
For reference, here is the full obverse and reverse of this deceptive 1883 shield nickel.
All text and images for the 1883/2 Shield Nickel website are copyright (C) 2002, 2003, 2004,2005 by Howard Spindel