Three Cent Nickel — Reverse Side

Reverse side of a 1875 Three Cent Nickel,
in circulated condition and showing signs of normal wear

  • The denomination of the coin is represented by a large “III” (the Roman numeral representing the number three). Each “I” in the Roman numeral has parallel score marks running from the top cross-piece of the letter to the bottom, giving it the look of an ancient column from Greek and Roman architecture.
  • The “III” is bordered by a very elaborate wreath. The two open ends of the wreath almost touch at the top center of the coin, just above the middle “I.” (Longacre was famous for his engravings of hair and wreaths.)
  • A ribbon tied into a bow overlays the wreath at the bottom center, under the middle “I.” The ribbon is very similar to the ribbon at the back of Lady Liberty’s hair on the obverse side of the coin.
  • The edge of the reverse side of the three cent nickel is bordered by the same denticles (parallel-line design) as the obverse side, again suggesting the look of ancient Greek or Roman architecture.