Coin Specifications

Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913-1938)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 30,992,000
Obverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
Reverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 5.0000g
Diameter: 21.2mm
Edge: Plain
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1913 TYPE 1 5C MS obverse 1913 TYPE 1 5C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

James Earle Fraser's new nickel debuted in late winter of 1913 amid much fanfare. Most Americans found favor with the design, and huge numbers of these coins were saved as souvenirs. This hoarding only increased when the reverse was modified a few months later. As in 1883, rumors spread that the original issue would be recalled which, of course, was not the case.

As a result of such widespread hoarding, Type 1 nickels of the Philadelphia Mint are extremely common across all but the highest grades. The vast majority of Mint State survivors show the effects of die erosion to some degree, and many also show obvious die clashing, which was quite prevalent with this coin type.

A number of very minor doubled-die obverse and reverse varieties are known for this issue, but these are of little interest. A so-called 3-1/2 legged die state is known, as well, but this is not a true variety and is not recognized by NGC.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 4/24/2017

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

1913 TYPE 1 5C MS
Base $ 12.00 13.50 15.00 18.00 23.00 30.00 32.00 34.00 36.00 40.00 43.00 48.00 55.00 80.00 160 250 1075 12750 - -
$ - - - - - - - - 65.00 95.00 175 400 1450 17500

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Total Graded: 8630
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 68

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
1/15/1997 NGC MS 64   Teletrade Auction 0911, 911/Lot# 1165 $42.51
2/5/2006 PCGS MS 67   Goldberg February 5-8, 2006 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 34/Lot# 572 $1,207.50
10/23/2006 NGC MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 110, 115/Lot# 389 $149.50
5/30/2012 PCGS MS 67   Stack's Bowers The June 2012 Baltimore Auction, 137/Lot# 2417 $977.50
4/21/2013 NGC MS 63   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/21/2013, 71/Lot# 110777 $49.01
2/3/2014 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2014 February 3 - 5 US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(5), 1202/Lot# 7348 $176.25
8/12/2015 NGC MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2015 August 12 - 16 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(6), 1223/Lot# 7329 $646.25
12/25/2016 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131701/Lot# 21096 $129.25

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