Coin Specifications

Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913-1938)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 4,882,000
Obverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
Reverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 5.0000g
Diameter: 21.2mm
Edge: Plain
Link to this coin

1918 S 5C MS obverse 1918 S 5C MS reverse

Expand All    Collapse All

Description & Analysis

The 1918 S nickel had a rather modest mintage at a time when most production figures were quite high. Despite the hoarding of worn S-Mint coins from circulation that typified the coin hobby from the 1930s through the 1950s, this issue remains fairly scarce across all grades.

Mint State pieces do survive, but their quality is usually quite disappointing. Very weak strikes, whether from fresh or worn dies, are the norm. It appears that the San Francisco Mint increased the set distance between the dies to extend their useful life, so this issue never really had a chance.

The coin illustrated is typical of many Buffalo Nickels in that it reveals a mis-matched die pair. The obverse die is clearly quite worn, yet the reverse die was fresh, probably a replacement for one that became unusable through severe clashing or breaking. Such contradictions between obverse and reverse just add to the difficulty of grading Buffalo Nickels, particularly those in the higher circulated grades.

Gems of this date are exceedingly rare, while most Mint State coins will have less than satisfying luster.


Loading... Working...

Use the scroll bar at the bottom of this box to view a summary of the NGC Price Guide, NGC Census, Auction Prices Realized and NGC Registry Scores for each grade.

There was no data found for this Coin.

Select Designation


Select Grade

*To view the Census details for this coin, please sign in or sign up.

Price Guide

Last Updated: 1/17/2017

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

1918 S 5C MS
Base $ 15.00 28.00 60.00 140 200 335 375 485 575 650 750 1375 2850 4750 18500 60000 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - 1650 - 7650 32500 - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 679
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 58
High Grade: 66

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
5/1/2003 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2003 May St. Louis, MO (CSNS) Signature Sale #318, 318/Lot# 5736 $17,250.00
5/25/2008 PCGS AU 55   Goldberg May 25-27, 2008 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 47/Lot# 3862 $1,140.00
10/5/2009 NGC MS 64   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 416, 422/Lot# 173 $3,910.00
11/13/2011 PCGS XF 45   Teletrade Auction 3171, 3171/Lot# 1395 $160.00
6/2/2013 PCGS AU 55   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/02/2013, 77/Lot# 110610 $387.31
10/30/2014 PCGS MS 64   Stack's Bowers November Baltimore 2014, 6039/Lot# 4063 $4,112.50
2/1/2015 PCGS VF 30   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131506/Lot# 23960 $111.63
9/20/2015 NGC Details XF Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131539/Lot# 29119 $46.00
9/7/2017 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2017 September 7 - 10 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(1), 1259/Lot# 3215 $1,920.00

Related Articles

Dancing with Dates, Part Two

11/18/2008 — Engravers place their own stamp on early 20th Century Buffalo and Jefferson Nickels.
View full article >

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer