The Rackateer Nickel
T he Liberty Head “V” Nickle has a story of swindle, unlike any scheme in the entire history of United States of America coinage.
These nickels, first ever minted in 1883, did not have the word “cents” written on the reverse side and as such they resembled the $5 coin.
Aware of this similarity, Josh Tastum of Boston, Mass. Invested $5o in the new “V” nickels (remember, ho received 1.000 nickels therefore) and then had a jeweler friend of his do a gold plating job on them.
Then, Mr. Tatum would walk onto a tobacco store, place one of his new gold-plated coins on the counter and point at a five cent cigar. The unsuspecting clerk would give Tatum the indicated cigar AND $4.95 in change.
Knowing a good deal when he saw one, Mr. Tatum next invested in 4,000 more “V” nickels (That’s $200, no doubt from profits) This idea now took our Mr. Tatum from his Boston home all the way to New York city. Later that year he was arrested.
His case was dismissed----on the grounds that he had never misrepresented a thing----he never spoke but to say “Thank you.”
The merchant’s mistake meant they had cheated themselves
In late 1883, when the nickle was re-struck, the word “cents” was added to avoid any further attempts of delusion.
Church of the Science of God
La Jolla, California 92038-3131
© Church of the Science of GOD, 1993