Coin Specifications

Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913-1938)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 63,497,466
Catalog: KM-134
Obverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
Reverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 5.0000g
Diameter: 21.2mm
Edge: Plain
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1916 5C MS obverse 1916 5C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

The booming economy of the World War I years prompted very high mintages of minor coins starting in 1916, and this date is readily available in all grades up to the gem level. The strike quality of this issue varies greatly, with a small number of very sharp pieces amid mostly coins struck from dies that were moderately to heavily worn.

The specimen illustrated is typical of many Buffalo Nickels in that it was coined from dies of different generations. Its obverse die is clearly worn and has noticeable erosion lines, yet its reverse die is quite obviously fresh, with a hard, smooth surface. This phenomenon occurred whenver one die failed before its mate and had to be replaced. Die clashing was the usual culprit, one die of the pair being irrepairable.

The obverse hub was refined for the nickel coinage of 1916 and later years. The most obvious improvement was sharpening of the motto LIBERTY, which was rather indistinct on Fraser's models and the all coins struck 1913-15.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/1/2015

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

1916 5C MS
Base $ 6.00 6.75 8.50 10.50 16.00 22.00 25.00 29.00 37.00 45.00 55.00 68.00 88.00 130 325 960 7750 19000 - -
$ - - - 33.00 40.00 - 60.00 75.00 110 155 440 1850 12000 -

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Total Graded: 2094
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 62
High Grade: 68

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
5/23/2004 PCGS MS 63   Teletrade Auction 1886, 1886/Lot# 1081 $71.50
1/3/2005 NGC MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Year End Internet-Only Auction, 27/Lot# 198 $276.00
12/15/2013 PCGS MS 64   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/15/2013, 105/Lot# 157449 $71.66
8/5/2014 PCGS MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2014 August 5, 7 & 9 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(1), 1208/Lot# 3354 $5,581.25
9/22/2014 PCGS MS 66   Goldberg September 22-25, 2013 September Pre Long Beach, 75/Lot# 1313 $1,782.50
7/5/2015 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131528/Lot# 23051 $235.00
8/18/2015 PCGS   Stack's Bowers 2015 Chicago ANA, 6104/Lot# 42257 $646.25

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