The nickel 5 - cent pieces of the present were first coined under the Act of 1866. They are composed of 75 per cent copper and 25 per cent nickel, and weigh 77.16 grams. The cent dates from 1792, the earliest being pure copper and weighing 168 grains, while those of the present time are bronze which is 95 per cent copper and 5 per cent tin and zinc, and weigh 48 grams. Between 1857 and 1864 the cent was of a nickel composition, 88 per cent copper and 12 per cent nickel; these coins are frequently found in circulation at the present time. Other minor coins issued have been: the nickel 3-cent piece, 1865-1890; the bronze 2-cent piece, 1864-1873; and the copper half-cent, 1796-1857.

The above lists contain the legal United States coinage. In addition certain coins have been issued by private persons - for instance, the 50-cent and 25-cent pieces issued in California.