The Three Cent Nickel coins were issue starting in 1865 because the silver issue of the same denomination were being hoarded by the public. They are called Three Cent Nickel coins mostly due to the whitish nickel color, although the make up is 75% copper and only 25% nickel. The silver issue and the Three Cent Nickel were issue side by side until 1873 when the silver pieces were discontinued. The Three Cent Nickel continued to be issued until 1889, at which point, the three cent denomination was discontinued entirely. The Three Cent Nickel coins were struck in proof only issues in 1877, 1878 and 1886. Other business strikes, such as 1884 and 1885, have very low mintages. This, plus some interesting varieties make this a very collectible series.