Coin Specifications

Category: Indian Head $5 (1908-1929)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 82,000
Catalog: KM-129
Obverse Designer: Bela Lyon Pratt
Reverse Designer: Bela Lyon Pratt
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 8.3590g
AGW: 0.2419oz
Melt Value: $309.99 (8/22/2014)
Diameter: 21.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1908 S $5 MS obverse 1908 S $5 MS reverse


  
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There are no varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

When all three gold denominations of the 1908-S are examined as a group three distinctive traits emerge that are common to all. The five, ten, and twenty dollar coins each have one of the lowest mintages in their respective series, each is among the most attractive and best-produced issues in the series, and each is occasionally available in higher grades. The 1908-S five dollar had a mintage of 82,000 pieces, the lowest of all S-mint five dollar Indians and third lowest in the series, trailing only the 1909-O and the 1911-D. The ten dollar had only 59,850 pieces produced, fourth lowest in that series among regular issues. And the twenty dollar had an impressively low output of only 22,000 coins, the lowest production run among the regular issues in that series. In each case, small hoards set aside at the time of issue account for the availability in high grades of these three denominations. The attractiveness of the 1908-S in all three denominations is primarily from the exceptional mint frost, a trait common to many San Francisco-produced coins. On the gold denominations struck in 1908, attractive color is another plus that adds even more to the superior eye appeal of these coins.

The common trait among each of these three gold coins is the newness and novelty of each design. The quarter eagle and half eagle marked a distinctive break from the Gobrecht-inspired Coronet design that began in the late, and the Longacre design for the double eagle had been in production since 1850. Each of the three new gold designs was a radical departure from its predecessors. Perhaps the most radical and innovative were the quarter eagles and half eagles, designed by Bela Lyon Pratt. These coins featured a naturalistic portrait of a Native American, rather than the 19th century stylized portrait, and the coins were struck in sunken relief. This unfamiliar naturalism and the novel sunken relief were reason enough for both collectors and the general public to set aside these special coins, especially in 1908, the first year of issue.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/14/2014

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1908 S $5 MS
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 440 450 465 600 685 685 825 900 1300 1850 2600 3250 5100 8750 12500 26250 33000 73000 190000 - -
$ 750 875 975 1400 2300 3000 3600 6050 10000 19000 29000 41000 - -
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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 518
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 58
High Grade: 68


Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
9/6/2014 AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2014 September 4 - 6 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(3), 1209/Lot# 4459


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
2/20/2005 NGC AU 58   Goldberg February 20-23, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 28/Lot# 2304 $805.00
6/27/2005 NGC MS 61   David Lawrence Rare Coins Auction 43: The Cook Family Collection, 47/Lot# 1421 $1,092.50
10/16/2005 NGC AU 58   Teletrade Auction 2105, 2105/Lot# 1915 $644.00
2/14/2007 NGC AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2007 Long Beach, CA Signature Coin Auction #430, 430/Lot# 4665 $1,265.00
12/3/2009 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2009 December Houston, TX US Coin Auction #1132, 1132/Lot# 1711 $19,550.00
2/28/2012 NGC MS 61   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 7612 $2,530.00
8/8/2013 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2013 August 8 - 10 US Coins Signature Auction - Rosemont Session(4), 1188/Lot# 5107 $2,643.75
4/6/2014 NGC   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/06/2014, 175/Lot# 185326 $888.80


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1908 S $5 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base9201021103910571160119312131233154717251961210225793140441452587651872510835138693796163586
953102710451091117111991219133716061803200822612766356446956055800994281184621899465020
000000121913371606180320082261276635644695605580099428118462189900
0000001226144216651882205524202953398949766853836710131128572993000
Registry Image Gallery

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