Coin Specifications

Category: Shield Five Cents (1866-1883)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 2,350
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.
Link to this coin

1878 5C PF obverse 1878 5C PF reverse


  
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VarietyPlus®

There are no varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

1878 is the first year for which total mintage figures combining both the silver and minor proof sets were kept for the minor coins. Thus, we may be reasonably certain that there were 2,350 proof 1878 nickels made.

As may be seen from the photos, this issue looks more like a premium currency strike than a true proof. This date typically is found quite well struck, but with satiny fields in place of truely reflective ones. Combined with edges that are slightly beveled rather than sharply squared, such coins could be mistaken for MS were it not for the fact that the Mint struck only proofs this year. Gems are fairly common, cameo examples also existing in sufficient numbers to be collectable.

The second 8 is repunched east of the first impression, leading to false reports of an overdate. The underlying figure faded a bit with repeated use of the die and, most likely, subsequent repolishing.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/17/2014

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

1878 5C PF
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 900 1000 1200 1300 1350 1350 1400 1450 1500 1550 1600 1650 1700 1800 1900 1975 2100 3000 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - 2050 2200 3600 -
NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 598
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 67


Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
1/12/2015 PF 67   Heritage Auctions 2015 January 7 - 12 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Session(1), 1216/Lot# 3523
1/12/2015 PF 64   Heritage Auctions 2015 January 7 - 12 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Session(8), 1216/Lot# 9494


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
2/13/1998 NGC PF 66   Heritage Auctions 1998 February Long Beach Bullet Sale #182, 182/Lot# 124 $693.00
12/8/2003 NGC PF 63   Teletrade Auction 1816, 1816/Lot# 1128 $605.00
6/5/2006 NGC PF 63   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 90, 95/Lot# 207 $1,495.00
2/11/2007 PCGS PF 65   Goldberg February 11-14, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 39/Lot# 1117 $1,800.00
5/30/2010 PCGS PF 63   Bonhams Coins, Medals, and Banknotes, 18301/Lot# 1242 $1,170.00
2/22/2013 PCGS   Stack's Bowers The March 2013 Baltimore Auction, 181/Lot# 6805 $1,057.50
4/21/2013 PCGS PF 66   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/21/2013, 71/Lot# 111252 $2,035.00
7/27/2013 PCGS   Stack's Bowers The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money , 192/Lot# 1638 $1,645.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1878 5C PF
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base22729537246657770978786191695110021036103910451051106612711609261443611349824137
2493204035036217358118799279681013103710411047105611341383194431967406170440
000000811879927968101310371041104710561134138319443196740600
0000008368979399851024103810431049106112021496227937781045200
1878 5C PF Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base2783544455516788269139961057109711531190119312001345136314501821291748021538027470
3033844805937278559401016107011151165119111951248135113921573218635458328194100
000000940101610701115116511911195124813511392157321863545832800
0000009681036108311341177119211971296135714211697255141731185400
1878 5C PF Ultra Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base4095106297689301115122513271403145215231568157215801589160917532179342255271817632394
442549675822991115112591352141914751538156915741583159516571895259341239743229150
0000001259135214191475153815691574158315951657189525934123974300
00000012931377143514991553157015771586160217052037300748251395900
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: PF 67 CA
Points: 2917
Owner: Cameolot
 
Grade: PF 67 CA
Points: 2917
Owner: SLUGGO
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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Counterfeit Detection: The Kissing Thief

6/8/2010  — This proof 1878 Shield Nickel looks pretty at first glance, but a more careful evaluation reveals that it’s a fake.
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