Top 20 Shield Nickel Varieties

Notes on the Selection Process

The main page lists the basic criteria for the Top 20 selections.

There are many outstanding shield nickel varieties that did not make the list. I had to make several passes through the available shield nickel varieties, devise a scheme of twenty categories, and then pick what I thought was the best example in each category. I made many revisions along the way, and it is very reasonable for others to disagree with my selections. In fact, I'd really like it if you would drop me an email (address below) if you disagree telling me why you disagree and what you would replace. If I get enough responses, I'll start another page on this web site collecting them. Responses may be edited for clarity.

It's important to recognize that I chose variety shield nickels for their visual impact. It should be easy to explain and visually obvious to a non-shield nickel collector just what is strange about a particular variety. If your favorite shield nickel was not included I apologize - do contact me and tell me what variety that is and why I should have included it!

It's also important to know that the grade of the coin is absolutely no factor in the selection. Perhaps there is a very high grade shield nickel that could be chosen for its beauty and perfection, but that's not the focus of a variety list. If a picture existed of a coin of sufficient grade (probably EF or better) to clearly show the variety then it was eligible for inclusion in the Top 20.

The Top 20 list emphasizes that shield nickels are a crazy series and that the mint made crazy mistakes. A variety that isn't visually crazy just didn't get in.

This page copyright (C) 2004 by Howard Spindel. All rights reserved.