You can accurately judge condition yourself by following the How to Video - Grading Liberty Nickels. Grading is a necessary step in discovering the true value of your Liberty V nickels.
Small and subtle details such the presence of letters in the headband quickly separate lower from higher value coins. Start with the video, then review your coins and compare them with the details highlighted in the images and descriptions.
Please note: Although your old nickel is not as avidly collected as other series, inspect it closely. There is a strong market and interest in higher grade Liberty nickels.
Collector demand for Liberty nickels in nice condition, those grading extremely fine and better, have reached a minimum of $20 plus. Realize; many dates in these higher premium grades are worth even more. Combine the grading video above with the descriptions and close-up images that follow and you can sharpen your grading skills. Accurately place a value on your old coins.
Using a single light source and tilting your coin at an angle, slowly rotate the coin. You are looking for bands of luster to extent across the entire surface. Luster has a frosty texture on Liberty nickels and if complete indicates the high value uncirculated grade.
In the "extremely fine" grade this Liberty nickel circulated long enough to remove all luster leaving a soft light grey appearance.
Here we check the raised high points of the design for signs of wear. Liberty's cheek, hair and lettering are areas of focus and are highlighted on the image. The majority of the coin should remain sharp and well detailed with only slight removal of metal.
In "Fine" condition moderate wear is evident. A few strands of hair above forehead and ear have merged. However your coin is still distinctly detailed, and appreciated and valued by collectors. Look for a separation of the hairline and Liberty's face to indicate the Fine grade.
Liberty's portrait is still bold but just an outline. Missing are all details such her hair and crown. A Liberty V nickel in this condition is considered the "Good" grade. Pleasing examples are those with rim separation from lettering and stars. If your coin retains a nice grey color it is valued over a coin that has developed a dark charcoal color.
Although grading Liberty nickels is in part a technical examination of your coins, also include in your judgment the coin's overall eye appeal. For example, large distracting nicks or cuts on the surface would lower its appeal as a collectible. Match your coin closely the applicable image and you determine a fairly accurate value range.
Improve your skills at grading old coins. Visit the video index.
Once you have judged condition and determined a grade of your Liberty nickels, visit the value charts to determine their worth. Often a slight improvement in condition, when recognized, discovers a higher value is possible.
All old US coin values. Use the image index to identify your coin, follow the link to value charts covering dates and mints of each series. Importantly, the condition of your coin is playing an increasing role in value. Each series covers the grading process in detail, helping find the complete value.