Coin Specifications

Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913-1938)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 6,256,000
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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1925 S 5C MS obverse 1925 S 5C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

Federal employees were notoriously underpaid during the 1920s, and perhaps it was low morale that resulted in the 1925 S cents, nickels and dimes being so very poorly made. All three mints were also under tight budget constraints following the war and may have had to use dies way beyond their natural lifespan.

Whatever the reason, 1925 S nickels typically are among the worst coins of this decade and the entire Buffalo series. Weak strikes from heavily worn dies are common, though a handful of superior coins exist and are highly prized. Gems of this issue are nearly unknown, since luster is also disappointing for many coins. Lower grade pieces are relatively common, however, due to the hoarding from circulation that typified so many 20th Century S-Mint coins.

The example above illustrates a familiar trait of coins from this decade in that the obverse and reverse dies are mismatched. The former is old and tired, while the latter is clearly a fresh replacement for another die that had become unusable. More often seen is an extremely worn reverse having a grossly distorted mintmark that may be hard to distinguish as an S.

Several repunched mintmark varieties are known for this issue, but these are often difficult to make out on the typically worn reverse die.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/2/2015

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

1925 S 5C MS
Base $ 5.50 9.50 21.50 75.00 185 260 290 325 475 640 1025 1800 3350 23000 47500 - - - -
$ 205 - - - - 750 1250 2300 8450 36500 - - -

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Total Graded: 878
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 66

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
2/5/2006 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg February 5-8, 2006 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 34/Lot# 593 $4,025.00
7/12/2009 PCGS XF 45   Teletrade Auction 2717, 2717/Lot# 1293 $161.00
9/8/2013 PCGS AG 3   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 768, 777/Lot# 7049 $20.00
2/3/2014 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2014 February 3 - 5 US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(4), 1202/Lot# 5062 $19,975.00
4/13/2014 NGC VF 20   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/13/2014, 181/Lot# 145754 $42.50
7/18/2014 NGC XF 40   Stack's Bowers IAuction 3491, 6042/Lot# 21075 $141.00
6/4/2015 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2015 June 4 - 7 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(1), 1221/Lot# 3383 $1,292.50

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1925 S 5C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 63
Points: 2433
Owner: Whidbey Island Collection
Grade: XF 40
Points: 563
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