Click to enlarge1868 Minor Nickel Set

In this year, the mint began testing of a uniformly designed minor set containing the one cent, 3 cent and 5 cent design struck in nickel.

Two such design sets were prepared. One such set, illustrated below, contained J608/P673, J618/P687 and J633/P704-P705. It earliest sales occurrence appears to be Mason & Co's 9/1869 Thorn sale.

The other contained J605/P670, J615/P680 and J623/P692 or the wide planchet J624/P693. Its earliest sales occurrence was Mason & Co's 10/1869 J. C. Randall sale.

Both sets were sold to collectors for $9 per Ed Cogan's 1/1871 sale lot 303. Some sets may have had mixed coinage from among the 6-7 pieces available.

The illustrated set is a double set of 1868 minor patterns in nickel presented by Henry Linderman to Emily Trotter.

It is the only presentation set of these coins known and was originally offered by Stacks as lot 1061 of their October 1992 Floyd Starr sale. It was resold in Stacks October 2000 and June 2006 sales.

Sets were also made in copper and are much rarer than their nickel counterparts.

Photo courtesy of Stacks.