Coin Specifications

Category: Shield Five Cents (1866-1883)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 28,817,000
Catalog: KM-97
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 5.00 Grams
Diameter: 20.5mm
Edge: Plain
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1868 5C MS obverse 1868 5C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

1868 recorded the second highest mintage of Shield Nickel in this series. Though the novelty of this coin type had worn off, there seem to be a good supply of Mint State 1868 nickels. Gems exist in sufficient number for the advanced collector, perhaps because the Philadelphia Mint was getting better at making these troublesome coins. Even so, the example illustrated is riddled with die cracks and chips, as well as displaying a poor strike on its reverse.

New hubs for both obverse and reverse were introduced during this year's production, though the hobby has taken relatively little note of the changes. The obverse distinctions are slight, but the reverse hubs are readily recognized. On the Reverse of 67 the topmost star points to letter E in STATES (photo), while the more scarce Reverse of 68 has it pointing between letters ES.

Due to its large mintage, the 1868 issue required many dies, and this resulted in a rich array of doubled-die obverse and repunched mintmark varieties. These are found in combination with either reverse hub style, and variety collectors really love this date.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/17/2014

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

1868 5C MS
Base $ 19.00 26.00 32.50 40.00 68.00 68.00 98.00 105 120 135 145 165 180 225 380 800 1875 - - - -
$ 75.00 105 115 135 145 160 180 195 250 450 1400 3900 - -
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Total Graded: 852
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 62
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
1/18/2009 PCGS XF 40   Heritage Auctions Sunday Internet Coin Auction #69014, 69014/Lot# 64109 $115.00
1/30/2011 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg January 30 - February 3, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 62/Lot# 1237 $241.50
7/10/2011 PCGS AU 50   Teletrade Auction 3098, 3098/Lot# 1234 $103.50
9/26/2011 PCGS MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 622, 629/Lot# 47 $730.25
2/2/2014 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131406/Lot# 20078 $182.13
7/6/2014 PCGS AU 50   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/06/2014, 188/Lot# 156111 $175.00
7/11/2014 PCGS MS 63   Stack's Bowers August 2014 Chicago ANA, 6014/Lot# 5423 $305.50
10/5/2014 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131441/Lot# 23585 $158.63
1/4/2015 NGC MS 63   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131502/Lot# 23144 $164.50

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1868 5C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 66
Points: 2161
Owner: dls141
Grade: MS 66
Points: 1707
Owner: mtayl03
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