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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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: 1/17/2017

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

1916 S 5C MS
Base $ 12.00 17.00 25.00 48.00 80.00 125 135 145 160 190 215 250 340 725 2200 4900 26000 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - 370 925 2500 12250 32500 -

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Total Graded: 974
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
7/31/1993 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 1993 ANA Sale #107, 107/Lot# 6053 $3,410.00
2/11/2007 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg February 11-14, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 39/Lot# 1183 $603.75
4/8/2012 PCGS VF 35   Teletrade Auction 3255, 3255/Lot# 1429 $36.00
8/26/2012 PCGS MS 64   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 08/26/2012, 37/Lot# 65612 $1,078.00
1/19/2014 PCGS F 15   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 01/19/2014, 185/Lot# 165217 $18.00
3/16/2014 PCGS MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 795, 804/Lot# 57 $1,900.00
11/7/2014 PCGS XF 40   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3507, 6061/Lot# 23148 $52.88
4/19/2015 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131517/Lot# 27121 $305.50
6/5/2016 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131624/Lot# 23506 $470.00

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