Coin Specifications

Category: Jefferson Five Cents (1938-Date)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 19,365
Catalog: KM-192
Obverse Designer: Felix Schlag
Reverse Designer: Felix Schlag
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 5.00 Grams
Diameter: 21.2mm
Edge: Plain
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1938 5C PF obverse 1938 5C PF reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

Proofs of the new Jefferson Nickel became available in the final months of 1938, and collectors ordered a large number by standards of the time. This was facilitated by the Treasury's policy of selling all proofs either in sets or as singles.

Since all of the 1938 proofs have the Reverse of 1938 hub with its indistinct steps, this feature may be a bit incomplete. Some proofs of this date also show minor touch-ups to the dies for the purpose of reinforcing the design.

Gems are fairly plentiful, yet the very high grades typical of later years are rare early dates in this series. The Mint's proof coining techniques simply didn't allow for absolute perfection. Coins having cameo contrast on both side are exceedingly rare, though a few one-sided cameo coins are also known.

Sculptor Felix Schlag purchased 150 examples of the 1938 proof nickel and had them placed within commemorative cards that he signed and notarized. He sold relatively few of these at the time (1939), and the remainder was wholesaled to a dealer in the early 1960s. Once fairly common, they are rarely seen today and command much more respect than when new.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 10/7/2014

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

1938 5C PF
Base $ - - - - - - - - - 30.00 38.00 60.00 95.00 110 165 385 2500 - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 120 210 550 -
1938 5C PF Cameo
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3750 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The World Coin Price Guide is independently compiled by Krause Publications’ NumisMaster. NGC makes this information available to its website visitors as a free service, but in no way does the information provided represent NGC’s official opinion or policy. For example, varieties listed in the World Coin Price Guide may not necessarily be recognized by NGC. Please contact NGC Customer Service with any questions.

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Total Graded: 1237
Low Grade: 53
Average Grade: 65
High Grade: 68

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
9/6/2004 PCGS PF 67   Goldberg September 6-7, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 26/Lot# 592 $575.00
12/13/2004 NGC PF 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet-Only Auction #21, 25/Lot# 199 $276.00
5/25/2005 PCGS PF 66   Teletrade Auction 2044, 2044/Lot# 1097 $154.00
5/14/2007 NGC PF 67   Heritage Auctions 2007 May US Coin Online Session #435, 435/Lot# 7611 $201.25
2/10/2008 PCGS PF 67   Goldberg February 10-13, 2008 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 44/Lot# 1959 $312.00
4/22/2012 PCGS PF 66   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131218/Lot# 23506 $94.00
2/10/2013 PCGS PF 66   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/10/2013, 61/Lot# 94436 $161.70
6/16/2014 PCGS PF 67   Stack's Bowers iAuciton 3486, 6035/Lot# 20172 $217.38

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1938 5C PF
1938 5C PF Cameo
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: PF 68
Points: 1056
Owner: Montana Grampa
Grade: PF 67
Points: 966
Owner: Chesapeake Coin
View the Registry Image Gallery

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