Click to enlargeP5340

The information below is primarily excerpted from Pollock and from the August 30, 1993 and September 6, 1993 issues of Coin World by Kenn Henderson.

This metallurgical trial, the second of three varieties, was produced by the International Nickel Company in 1964. They were one of several companies the U.S. Mint commissioned to find a suitable alloy replacement for silver. The other two are P5195 and P5380.

The obverse features a bust of Dr. Paul D. Merica and the reverse features his laboratory where the pieces were struck. The design was created by Gilroy Roberts and the hubs were created by the Medallic Art Company in 1964 per Heritage 1/15 FUN sale.

The coins are struck in 95% nickel, 5% silicon on a permalloy core of 79% nickel, 16% iron and 5% molybdenum and were issued in sets with a dime sized coin P5335 and a half dollar sized coin P5375.

The quarter sized coins was also struck in additional alloys.

Iron (magnetic) P5345. This has Fe engraved in the obverse field in front of Dr. Merica's face.

Nickel (magnetic) P5350. This has Ni engraved in the obverse field in front of Dr. Merica's face.

45% nickel, 55% copper P5351. This has 45 engraved in the obverse field in front of Dr. Merica's face.

25% nickel, 75% copper P5353 with CuNi engraved in right obverse field.

Copper-nickel on copper core P5355. This has CuNiCu engraved in the obverse field in front of Dr. Merica's face. These are said to exist with both reeded and plain edges and in proof and uncirculated formats.

Nickel-copper on copper core P5360. This has NiCuCu engraved in the obverse field in front of Dr. Merica's face.

Copper-nickel on copper core with reeded edge P5365. This has no engraving in the field. These appear to exist 75%/25% and 70%/30% per Heritage 1/15 FUN sale.

Copper-nickel on copper core with plain edge P5366. This has no engraving in the field. These appear to exist 75%/25% and 70%/30% per Heritage 1/15 FUN sale.

95% nickel, 5% silicon on a permalloy core P5370. This has NiSip engraved in the obverse field in front of Dr. Merica's face. Is this the same as P5340 with the alloy engraved on it ? If so, it didn't need a separate number.

An example is illustrated in the September 6, 1985 edition of Coin World with just CuNi engraved on it. This may be P5353 or P5365 or another alloy. Another example, offered in the StacksBowers 2016 ANA sale, with 18 and 19 engraved on the right obverse field, has brass plating on both obverse and reverse but not the edge.

Image courtesy of Bowers and Merena.