Coin Specifications

Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913-1938)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 10,663,000
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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1921 5C MS obverse 1921 5C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

Mintages plunged in 1921 for all denominations other than the silver dollar, but then its coinage was mandated by law and had nothing to do with commercial demand. Perhaps it was this great reduction in demand for new coins brought on by economic recession that permitted the Philadelphia Mint to perform upgrades to several coin types, but certainly the nickels of this date are superior in sharpness to those of the several preceding years. Both the date and designer's intial were made bolder on this coin.

Despite a relatively low mintage for a Philadelphia Mint coin, the 1921 nickel is far more available in high grades than one would expect. This is due at least in part to the overall higher than usual quality.

A minor doubled-die obverse variety is noted for the 1921(P) nickel, but it is of little interest.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/2/2019

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

1921 5C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 6.00 7.75 13.00 34.50 62.00 81.00 88.00 110 120 135 175 230 300 450 875 1800 5300 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - 335 510 1050 2150 6500 -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 824
Low Grade: VG
Average Grade: 62
High Grade: 67

The chart showing 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: 7/9/2019 1921 5C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base--42342417441974-869131223136579---824
---------1---1---53---10
---------------1141---7
-----------------------
Total--42342417442074-8701312241376613---841
 --0 %3 %5 %0 %2 %0 %0 %2 %9 %-1 %8 %16 %27 %16 %8 %2 %--- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
6/29/2005 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2005 June New York, NY Signature Auction #380, 380/Lot# 5284 $603.75
2/11/2007 PCGS MS 65   Goldberg February 11-14, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 39/Lot# 1207 $776.25
7/17/2011 NGC MS 64   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/17/2011, 127/Lot# 9852 $368.50
10/27/2011 NGC MS 66   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 631, 638/Lot# 5130 $1,207.50
11/18/2012 PCGS MS 64   Teletrade Auction 3383, 3383/Lot# 1321 $320.00
4/1/2014 PCGS MS 65   Stack's Bowers March 2014 Baltimore Auction, 6008/Lot# 7555 $2,467.50
10/12/2014 PCGS Genuine XF   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131442/Lot# 25109 $51.00
4/27/2016 PCGS MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2016 April 27 - May 1 CSNS US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(2), 1234/Lot# 4005 $3,995.00
7/12/2018 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2018 July 12 - 15 Summer FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Session(2), 1277/Lot# 3464 $1,140.00
8/22/2018 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131835/Lot# 27287 $204.00


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