Coin Specifications

Category: Shield Five Cents (1866-1883)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 4,113,950
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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1873 OPEN 3 5C MS obverse 1873 OPEN 3 5C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

The flawed date punches used early in 1873 read more like 1878, so the balls of numeral 3 were trimmed down to give them better separation. In all likelihood, the same set of punches was simply modified rather than being replaced altogether.

While this variety may be somewhat more common than the Closed 3 edition, it's doubtful that the ratio is the nearly 10-1 furnished by Walter Breen and picked up by other catalogs. Whatever the actual truth, both varieties are slightly scarce in worn condition and moderately rare in Mint State.

The Open 3 nickels are rich in varieties. Among the best is one having the normal size date punched over another, much smaller one intended for a different denomination, perhaps the trime. There are too many varieties for NGC to recognize the lesser ones, but the most popular are certified under NGC's VarietyPlus Service.


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Price Guide

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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: 99
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 62
High Grade: 66

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
6/20/2001 NGC MS 63   Teletrade Auction 1450, 1450/Lot# 1128 $207.10
11/7/2003 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2003 November Signature Sale #334, 334/Lot# 5595 $1,063.75
11/3/2005 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2005 November Dallas, TX Signature Auction #388, 388/Lot# 507 $6,325.00
11/3/2010 NGC MS 63   Stack's Bowers The November 2010 Baltimore Auction, 44/Lot# 1289 $218.50
7/7/2011 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2011 July Orlando Summer FUN Signature US Coin Auction Session(4), 1157/Lot# 7500 $431.25
5/6/2012 NGC Details XF Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 05/06/2012, 21/Lot# 49766 $18.00
7/28/2013 PCGS AU 58   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 762, 771/Lot# 550 $240.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1873 OPEN 3 5C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 64
Points: 820
Owner: S & RB
Grade: MS 63
Points: 642
Owner: Amazon
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