Coin Specifications

Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913-1938)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 30,992,000
Catalog: KM-133
Obverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
Reverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 5.00 Grams
Diameter: 21.2mm
Edge: Plain
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1913 TYPE 1 5C MS obverse 1913 TYPE 1 5C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

James Earle Fraser's new nickel debuted in late winter of 1913 amid much fanfare. Most Americans found favor with the design, and huge numbers of these coins were saved as souvenirs. This hoarding only increased when the reverse was modified a few months later. As in 1883, rumors spread that the original issue would be recalled which, of course, was not the case.

As a result of such widespread hoarding, Type 1 nickels of the Philadelphia Mint are extremely common across all but the highest grades. The vast majority of Mint State survivors show the effects of die erosion to some degree, and many also show obvious die clashing, which was quite prevalent with this coin type.

A number of very minor doubled-die obverse and reverse varieties are known for this issue, but these are of little interest. A so-called 3-1/2 legged die state is known, as well, but this is not a true variety and is not recognized by NGC.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/1/2015

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

1913 TYPE 1 5C MS
Base $ 11.50 13.50 15.00 17.50 23.00 29.00 30.00 32.00 33.00 40.00 45.00 53.00 75.00 175 300 1100 14500 - -
$ 25.00 - - - - - - 60.00 93.00 190 485 4750 -

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Total Graded: 7878
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 68

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
11/18/1999 NGC MS 66   Heritage Auctions 1999 Santa Clara Signature Sale #213, 213/Lot# 6400 $172.50
9/6/2004 PCGS MS 67   Goldberg September 6-7, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 26/Lot# 524 $1,035.00
7/27/2008 NGC MS 66   Heritage Auctions Sunday Internet Coin Auction #68081, 68081/Lot# 61054 $207.00
1/10/2011 NGC MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 548, 555/Lot# 163 $132.25
5/29/2011 NGC MS 63   Teletrade Auction 3074, 3074/Lot# 1274 $38.00
12/9/2012 PCGS Genuine UNC   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/09/2012, 52/Lot# 88392 $26.00
5/19/2014 NGC MS 64   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3482, 6031/Lot# 20080 $52.88

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