The 1901 Liberty Head Nickel, also referred to as the V nickel because of its reverse (or tails) design, was an American five-cent piece. It was struck for circulation from 1883 until 1912, with at least five pieces being surreptitiously struck dated 1913.
Striking of the new coins began on January 30, 1883, and the Mint placed the first pieces in circulation on February 1. Snowden, concerned about reports of speculation in 1883 Shield nickels, received permission on February 6 to continue striking Shield nickels for several months alongside the new pieces.
After heavy mintages of the nickel in 1883 and 1884, production was much lower in 1885 and 1886. This was due to an economic downturn which lowered demand for the coins. The 1886 production was also depressed by the Treasury's decision to reissue large numbers of worn minor coins. It was not until September 1886 that the Mint resumed full production of the coin. By 1887, however, the Mint was overwhelmed by orders, melting down large quantities of older copper-nickel coins to meet the demand.
In 1909, consideration was given to the replacement of the Liberty Head nickel by a new design. In an attempt to modernize the coinage, the cent and the gold pieces had been redesigned. Prominent artists from outside the Mint had been contracted to provide the designs of the new coins, much to Barber's disgruntlement.
- Circulation strikes: 13,368,000
- Proofs: 2,195
- Designer: Charles E. Barber
- Diameter: 21.2 millimeters
- Metal content:
- Copper - 75%
- Nickel - 25%
- Weight: 5 grams
- Edge: Plain
* Actual Coin Received may be Different than Item Pictured