Coin Specifications

Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913-1938)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 10,663,000
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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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.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/1/2015

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

1921 5C MS
Base $ 4.50 6.00 9.75 25.00 52.00 75.00 80.00 105 115 130 175 260 325 490 950 1850 7750 - - -
$ 58.00 - - - - - - 285 360 625 1200 2600 11500 -

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Total Graded: 773
Low Grade: VG
Average Grade: 62
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
1/7/2004 PCGS MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2004 Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Sale #336, 336/Lot# 5387 $8,855.00
3/22/2009 PCGS MS 67   Teletrade Auction 2668, 2668/Lot# 1291 $4,945.00
6/10/2012 PCGS Genuine AU   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/10/2012, 26/Lot# 54558 $32.75
2/3/2013 PCGS MS 65   Goldberg February 3-6, 2013 The Pre-Long Beach Auction, 72/Lot# 1182 $920.00
7/21/2013 PCGS MS 64   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 761, 770/Lot# 52 $425.00
8/12/2015 PCGS MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2015 August 12 - 16 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(1), 1223/Lot# 3534 $7,050.00
6/1/2016 PCGS   Stack's Bowers June 2016 CC Online, 6143/Lot# 10057 $564.00

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