Coin Specifications

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

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

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).


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/14/2015

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

1916 S 5C MS
Base $ 12.00 15.50 21.00 42.00 75.00 125 135 155 170 195 215 245 310 700 2150 5700 24000 - - -
$ 85.00 - - - - - - 265 400 1000 2800 12250 28500 -

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Total Graded: 967
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 61
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
9/6/2009 PCGS AU 53   Goldberg September 6-8, 2009 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 54/Lot# 2523 $161.00
5/13/2012 PCGS VF 20   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131221/Lot# 28061 $32.00
6/4/2012 PCGS MS 62   Teletrade Auction 3288, 3288/Lot# 1327 $160.00
10/18/2012 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2012 October 18-21 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas Session(5), 1175/Lot# 7954 $223.25
3/16/2014 PCGS MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 795, 804/Lot# 57 $1,900.00
9/14/2014 NGC MS 64   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/14/2014, 192/Lot# 216236 $900.00
3/31/2015 NGC MS 62   Stack's Bowers March 2015 Baltimore, 6065/Lot# 32712 $182.13
8/21/2016 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131635/Lot# 29102 $141.00

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