Coin Specifications

Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913-1938)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 63,497,466
Catalog: KM-134
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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1916 5C MS obverse 1916 5C MS reverse

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There are no varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

The booming economy of the World War I years prompted very high mintages of minor coins starting in 1916, and this date is readily available in all grades up to the gem level. The strike quality of this issue varies greatly, with a small number of very sharp pieces amid mostly coins struck from dies that were moderately to heavily worn.

The specimen illustrated is typical of many Buffalo Nickels in that it was coined from dies of different generations. Its obverse die is clearly worn and has noticeable erosion lines, yet its reverse die is quite obviously fresh, with a hard, smooth surface. This phenomenon occurred whenver one die failed before its mate and had to be replaced. Die clashing was the usual culprit, one die of the pair being irrepairable.

The obverse hub was refined for the nickel coinage of 1916 and later years. The most obvious improvement was sharpening of the motto LIBERTY, which was rather indistinct on Fraser's models and the all coins struck 1913-15.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 4/3/2014

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

1916 5C MS
Base $ 6.00 6.75 8.50 10.50 16.00 16.00 22.00 25.00 29.00 37.00 45.00 55.00 68.00 88.00 130 325 960 7875 18500 - -
$ - - 27.00 33.00 40.00 50.00 60.00 75.00 110 155 440 2200 11000 -
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Total Graded: 1992
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 62
High Grade: 68

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
9/15/2003 NGC MS 65   Goldberg September 15-17, 2003 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 21/Lot# 188 $322.00
6/4/2006 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions Exclusively Internet Auction #66062, 66062/Lot# 24311 $92.00
5/8/2011 PCGS AG 3   Teletrade Auction 3061, 3061/Lot# 1196 $58.00
8/15/2011 NGC MS 67   Stack's Bowers The August 2011 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money Auction, 115/Lot# 8155 $4,312.50
10/28/2012 PCGS Genuine UNC   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/28/2012, 46/Lot# 80665 $25.00
1/12/2014 PCGS MS 64   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 01/12/2014, 180/Lot# 163459 $79.96
3/9/2014 PCGS MS 66   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 794, 803/Lot# 478 $900.00

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