Coin Specifications

Category: Shield Five Cents (1866-1883)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 16,395,000
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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1869 5C MS obverse 1869 5C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

The mintage of nickels fell in 1869 from the previous two years, but it was still fairly generous within the series as a whole. Circulated pieces are common, while Mint State coins are noticeably scarcer than for previous dates. Gems are elusive.

Two reverse hub styles were employed for this year's production, though there doesn't seem to be much difference in rarity. The Reverse of 67 is recognizable by a star pointing between lettersAM of AMERICA, while the Reverse of 69 (photo) has this star pointing to the M alone. These various changes seem to have resulted from the Mint's efforts to make the reverse of this coin type strike up more fully. The obverse was modified slightly during 1869, as well, but the distinctions are too slight to attract attention from anyone but hardcore specialists. The new hub did, however, include the "Missing Leaf" of earlier issues.

Once again, a large mintage resulted in a proliferation of die-punching varieties, these distributed over both reverse styles. The most obvious variety is an anomalous date punch known variously as the Narrow Date, the Normal Date or the Tall Date. This punch was evidently intended for another denomination but used on a nickel obverse by mistake.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/1/2015

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

1869 5C MS
Base $ 19.00 27.00 33.00 41.00 72.00 105 115 125 145 165 200 275 435 800 2500 10000 - - -
$ - - - - - 180 220 300 475 900 6250 - -

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Total Graded: 526
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
8/17/1996 NGC MS 66   Heritage Auctions 1996 ANA Signature Sale #163, 163/Lot# 6706 $1,155.00
9/23/2007 NGC MS 63   Goldberg September 23-26, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 42/Lot# 1160 $184.00
10/24/2010 PCGS AU 50   Teletrade Auction 2947, 2947/Lot# 1277 $115.00
6/10/2012 PCGS XF 45   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/10/2012, 26/Lot# 52159 $58.30
7/6/2014 PCGS Genuine AU   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/06/2014, 188/Lot# 204592 $125.00
9/28/2014 PCGS MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 823, 832/Lot# 574 $700.00
3/22/2015 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131513/Lot# 29408 $376.00
6/28/2015 NGC MS 61   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131527/Lot# 21034 $141.00
7/20/2015 PCGS   Stack's Bowers July 2015 Baltimore Auction, 6105/Lot# 30720 $1,410.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1869 5C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 65
Points: 1233
Owner: Amazon
Grade: MS 64
Points: 1013
Owner: Rick's Keepers
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