Coin Specifications

Category: Shield Five Cents (1866-1883)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 4,806,000
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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1870 5C MS obverse 1870 5C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

By 1870 it was evident that the retirement of five-cent notes was effectively complete. Thus, the mintage of this date was low in comparison to earlier years, being limited to the number of coins needed to replace those lost or withdrawn from circulation.

With this lower mintage, the 1870 nickel is moderately scarce in Mint State, with gems being genuinely rare. The only upside is that the Mint had finally figured out how to make these coins with decent strikes and luster. The severe cracking and chipping of dies common to early issues are not as evident during the 1870s.

Despite its diminished production, the 1870 nickel is still rich in varieties, reaffirming this coin series' claim as a cherrypicker's delight. Two of the more unusual varieties include a die-clashing of the nickel obverse with the cent obverse and a doubled-die reverse from two different hubs---the Reverse of 69 over the Reverse of 67. The best of these varieties are recognized by NGC under its VarietyPlus Service.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 3/9/2015

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

1870 5C MS
Base $ 22.00 30.00 42.50 57.50 88.00 88.00 105 115 145 160 175 200 240 390 500 1875 5750 10000 - - -
$ 100.00 115 130 160 175 190 220 260 430 650 2600 7250 - -

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: 232
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 61
High Grade: 66

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
10/5/2003 NGC XF 45   Teletrade Auction 1788, 1788/Lot# 1050 $60.50
5/31/2004 NGC MS 65   Goldberg May 31 - June 2, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 25/Lot# 463 $1,150.00
10/30/2006 NGC MS 64   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 111, 116/Lot# 214 $391.00
1/7/2009 NGC MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2009 January Orlando, FL FUN Auction #1121, 1121/Lot# 617 $2,990.00
8/14/2011 NGC VF 25   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 08/14/2011, 131/Lot# 13202 $86.90
7/12/2012 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2012 July 12-15 US Coin Summer FUN Signature Auction - Orlando Session(4), 1172/Lot# 7579 $322.00
6/1/2014 NGC VF 30   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131423/Lot# 24133 $57.00
7/11/2014 PCGS MS 66   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3490, 6041/Lot# 20087 $3,701.25
10/5/2014 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131441/Lot# 23098 $84.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1870 5C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 66
Points: 1969
Owner: Cameolot
Grade: MS 64
Points: 865
Owner: Amazon
View the Registry Image Gallery

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