Coin Specifications

Category: Shield Five Cents (1866-1883)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 68,800
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

1881 5C MS obverse 1881 5C MS reverse

Expand All    Collapse All


Click on a coin to see VarietyPlus details.

Description & Analysis

Production of five-cent pieces was delayed until November, as there existed no additional demand for the denomination for most of 1881. This year's coinages amounted to slightly over four times that of 1880, yet it was still a rather modest figure. 1881 nickels are quite scarce across all grades, though the Mint State pieces certified are of slightly higher average quality than is typical for the series as a whole. Distinguishing between MS and PF coins is a bit of a challenge, though not to the degree found with 1879-80 nickels. The 1881 dies were used long enough to develop some frosty texture, as seen in the example illustrated.

A nice repunched date variety is known for this date, along with a very minor doubled-die obverse.


Loading... Working...

Use the scroll bar at the bottom of this box to view a summary of the NGC Price Guide, NGC Census, Auction Prices Realized and NGC Registry Scores for each grade.

There was no data found for this Coin.

Select Designation


Select Grade

*To view the Census details for this coin, please sign in or sign up.

Price Guide

Last Updated: 8/31/2015

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

1881 5C MS
Base $ 300 385 485 570 735 900 975 1025 1075 1225 1275 1350 1875 2650 3500 9500 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - 2150 3100 5250 - -

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.

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 159
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 58
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
1/25/2004 PCGS AU 58   Goldberg January 25-28, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 23/Lot# 1580 $575.00
5/30/2010 PCGS F 15   Bonhams Coins, Medals, and Banknotes, 18301/Lot# 1240 $497.00
5/31/2010 NGC MS 66   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 484, 490/Lot# 70 $2,300.00
1/3/2012 PCGS VF 20   Heritage Auctions 2012 January 4-8 US Coins & Platinum Night FUN Signature Auction- Orlando Session(9), 1166/Lot# 9979 $503.70
2/28/2012 PCGS VF 30   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 1821 $576.15
5/6/2012 NGC Details F Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 05/06/2012, 21/Lot# 49782 $187.00
3/11/2013 NGC AU 50   Teletrade Auction 3421, 3421/Lot# 1385 $575.00
8/5/2014 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2014 August 5, 7 & 9 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(1), 1208/Lot# 3259 $3,290.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1881 5C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 67
Points: 3984
Owner: ddr70
View the Registry Image Gallery

Related Articles

There are no related articles for this coin.

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer