Coin Specifications

Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913-1938)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 4,882,000
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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1918 S 5C MS obverse 1918 S 5C MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

The 1918 S nickel had a rather modest mintage at a time when most production figures were quite high. Despite the hoarding of worn S-Mint coins from circulation that typified the coin hobby from the 1930s through the 1950s, this issue remains fairly scarce across all grades.

Mint State pieces do survive, but their quality is usually quite disappointing. Very weak strikes, whether from fresh or worn dies, are the norm. It appears that the San Francisco Mint increased the set distance between the dies to extend their useful life, so this issue never really had a chance.

The coin illustrated is typical of many Buffalo Nickels in that it reveals a mis-matched die pair. The obverse die is clearly quite worn, yet the reverse die was fresh, probably a replacement for one that became unusable through severe clashing or breaking. Such contradictions between obverse and reverse just add to the difficulty of grading Buffalo Nickels, particularly those in the higher circulated grades.

Gems of this date are exceedingly rare, while most Mint State coins will have less than satisfying luster.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/1/2015

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

1918 S 5C MS
Base $ 14.50 26.00 55.00 125 200 315 365 480 550 850 1400 2800 5250 18000 60000 - - - -
$ 260 - - - - 1050 1700 3250 7900 32000 - - -

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Total Graded: 643
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 60
High Grade: 66

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
7/27/2005 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2005 July San Francisco, CA (ANA) Signature Auction #382, 382/Lot# 5674 $2,530.00
5/25/2008 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg May 25-27, 2008 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 47/Lot# 3861 $5,290.00
6/1/2011 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2011 June Long Beach Signature US Coin Auction Session(1), 1156/Lot# 3238 $2,185.00
7/17/2011 PCGS Genuine Genuine   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/17/2011, 127/Lot# 7991 $57.20
2/26/2012 NGC Details VG Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/26/2012, 9/Lot# 36334 $17.00
5/12/2013 PCGS XF 40   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 751, 760/Lot# 555 $200.00
3/10/2015 NGC   Stack's Bowers March 2015 Portland ANA, 6103/Lot# 1127 $246.75

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