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

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/6/2019

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

1918 S 5C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 22.00 45.00 85.00 150 225 380 420 560 780 870 950 1380 2500 4400 16000 55000 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - 1650 - 7650 29500 - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 717
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 58
High Grade: 66

The chart showing PrAg series, 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.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 10/8/2019 1918 S 5C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base1231835843029111641495296567197161----717
---------------1------1
-------------1-61-----8
-----------------------
Total1231835843029111641495296667204171----726
 0 %3 %2 %5 %12 %4 %4 %2 %2 %6 %7 %1 %4 %9 %9 %28 %2 %0 %---- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
9/14/1998 PCGS MS 64   Teletrade Auction 1086, 1086/Lot# 1180 $3,531.00
9/15/2003 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg September 15-17, 2003 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 21/Lot# 192 $9,775.00
9/29/2008 NGC AU 55   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 287, 293/Lot# 270 $391.00
6/10/2012 PCGS Genuine VF   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/10/2012, 26/Lot# 54611 $24.00
8/2/2012 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2012 August 2-5 US Coins Signature Auction- Philadelphia Session(4), 1173/Lot# 5051 $11,750.00
9/22/2014 PCGS MS 65   Goldberg September 22-25, 2013 September Pre Long Beach, 75/Lot# 1326 $19,550.00
1/25/2015 PCGS VF 35   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131505/Lot# 22033 $117.50
7/20/2015 PCGS   Stack's Bowers July 2015 Baltimore Auction, 6105/Lot# 30832 $99.88


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1918 5C MS S
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base638511522040964274584790010811138130315051969283436756820102267431110473724765244
70951502834876767798659601100119313701660225731144723795510226863619780465790
000000779865960110011931370166022573114472379551022686361978000
0000008138821021111912481438181425463395577290911022698422851400
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: XF 45
Points: 745
Owner: CRAWTOMATIC
 
Grade: VF 25
Points: 409
Owner: Dooms
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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