Three Cent Nickel:
In order to provide coinage at the end of the Civil War, but not to encourage hoarding, US Mint Chief Engraver James Longacre designed a new three cent coin made out of copper and nickel. This coin, along with the Two Cent Piece were popular coins and denominations towards the end of the War, but as that faded into memory, so did their popularity. Longacre’s design was safe and simple – a head of Miss Liberty on the obverse and the tried-and-true Roman numeral for three – III – within a wreath on the reverse.
In 1865, the Mint struck more than 11 million of these coins at Philadelphia. They continued striking these coins, but in much lower mintages, until 1889 and all were struck at the Philadelphia mint. By 1880, demand had decreased to such a low number that only a few thousand coins were struck annually. In fact, in several years the mintages were so low that the mintages of the Proof coins, struck for collectors, was greater than the number of coins intended for circulation. This is a popular set to attempt to collect.