May 16, 1866: Birth of the Nickel

During the turmoil of the Civil War, silver and gold coins tended to disappear from circulation as people hoarded the precious metals.  Congress responded by ordering the mint to make low denomination coins out of non-precious metals.  Industrialist Joseph Wharton suggested the use of nickel, a metal in which he, purely by coincidence I am sure, had a near monopoly on in the U.S.  On May 16, 1866 Congress, without debate, authorized the minting of half dimes made up of 75% copper and 25% nickel. (more…)

Published in: on May 16, 2022 at 9:48 am  Comments Off on May 16, 1866: Birth of the Nickel