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Racketeer Nickel- Gold Plated non denomination from 1883
racketeer nickel 1883

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Soon after the 1883 nickel appeared, the omission of the word cents on the coin became a huge problem. The reverse design of the coin contained a large “V” , but without the word “CENTS”, con artists soon realized that they could gold plate the coins and pass them off as $5.00 gold pieces.
One of the most famous stories revolves around a man from Boston who invested $50 in new “V” nickels and had a friend of his, a jeweler, gold plate them for him. He would enter a store a make a purchase for 5¢ and not say anything (many things in those days cost a nickel: a good cigar, the daily newspaper and a loaf of bread, among them). He would place his gold plated nickel on the counter and make his purchase. If the clerk noticed it was only 5¢, he would just leave with his purchase. But more times than not he would also leave with $4.95 in change. He was eventually caught, but the case was dismissed because the merchants actually cheated themselves, and there was no law against gold plating a nickel. Just after the trial the U.S. Mint authorized changing the reverse to include the word “CENTS”. We offer nice gold plated VF-XF pieces of these “Racketeer Nickels”.
Our Lowest Price: $19.95

Product Code: 111