Coin Specifications

Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913-1938)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 11,860,000
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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1916 S 5C MS obverse 1916 S 5C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

The booming wartime economy boosted production at all three mints, even though America was not yet a participant in actual warfare until the following year. This issue had a high mintage for a San Francisco coin, and worn examples are only slightly scarce. They'd be far more available were it not for this coin type's exposed dates that wore away so quickly.

Those few Mint State examples surviving from fresh dies are extremely bold and attractive, but most MS pieces show various degrees of die erosion and blurring of the peripheral design elements, such as the mintmark and designer's initial. 1916-S nickels become quite scarce at the gem level (MS 65 and higher).

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 5/3/2019

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

1916 S 5C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 15.55 22.55 34.50 55.00 99.00 135 145 155 175 210 220 235 340 680 2750 5000 28500 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - 370 925 2900 12250 32500 -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1047
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 60
High Grade: 67

The chart showing G series, VG series, F series, VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series, 66 series, 67 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 8/13/2019 1916 S 5C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-6916462724131658144-4017617223845161---1047
----------------2-----2
--------------152-1---9
-----------------------
Total-6916462724131658144-4017617324349162---1058
 -1 %1 %2 %4 %3 %2 %1 %2 %5 %14 %-4 %17 %16 %23 %5 %2 %0 %--- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
4/25/2005 NGC MS 64   David Lawrence Rare Coins Richmond Sale, Internet-Only Auction, 40/Lot# 268 $386.40
9/6/2009 PCGS AU 53   Goldberg September 6-8, 2009 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 54/Lot# 2523 $161.00
9/30/2009 NGC AU 50   Teletrade Auction 2752, 2752/Lot# 1171 $138.00
12/8/2011 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2011 December 8-11 US Coins Signature Auction- New York Session(4), 1162/Lot# 7649 $431.25
7/8/2012 NGC MS 65   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/08/2012, 30/Lot# 54298 $1,485.00
1/9/2013 NGC MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2013 January 9-13 US Coin FUN Signature Auction - Orlando Session(7), 1181/Lot# 9166 $352.50
7/11/2014 PCGS MS 61   Stack's Bowers August 2014 Chicago ANA, 6014/Lot# 5466 $188.00
1/4/2015 PCGS VF 35   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131502/Lot# 23172 $40.00
6/5/2016 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131624/Lot# 23506 $470.00


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