Coin Specifications

Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913-1938)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 1,557,000
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

1921 S 5C MS obverse 1921 S 5C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

Only 1-1/2 million nickels were coined at the San Francisco Mint early in 1921 before the demand for additional pieces dried up completely until late 1923. This issue is scarce across all grades, and Mint State pieces are genuinely rare. Gems are very rare.

The obverse master die for 1921 was sharpened with hand engraving, resulting in a crisper rendition of the date and designer's initial. Of course, this was of little value when the working dies were permitted to wear down and become blurry. This is more of a problem with the reverse dies, as these could be carried into 1921's coinage from earlier years. Most were not removed from the press until they failed altogether. It's thus not unusual to find a 1921 S nickel that has a sharp obverse and a mushy reverse.

Like most early dates in the Buffalo Nickel series, this issue may be found in a "two-feathers" die state. Clashing and repolishing of the dies often removed the shallow feather adjacent to the Indian's neck, and this feature is barely visible on the coin illustrated. Since this is not a true variety, NGC does not recognize "two-feathers" coins.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 10/5/2020

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

1921 S 5C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 70.00 110 170 460 1000 1175 1250 1425 1850 2000 2150 2350 2800 4450 9850 22000 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - 2500 3200 5350 11500 - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The prices listed in the various NGC Price and Value Guides are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. Prices provided are averages, not specific prices for individual coins. Further, because these prices are only updated from time to time, they do not reflect short term pricing trends, which are quite common and are often quite dramatic, given the volatile nature of the collectible coin marketplace. This is especially true for rare coins, where there are fewer sales and greater variations in sale prices. For all of these reasons, the prices in these guides are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and factors that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and — when appropriate — expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Guides. By using the NGC Guides, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the Guides.

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1493
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 40
High Grade: 67

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, 67 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 4/20/2021 1921 S 5C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base252201340434655821202231-717351463651---1493
----------------21----3
---------------2------2
-----------------------
Total252201340434655821202231-717351483861---1498
 0%3%13%23%29%4%4%1%1%1%2%-0%1%2%10%3%0%0%--- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1921 S 5C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base2483174045639491558164918651969206821612250231924642807340648767138536782472243136828
271346457692115215881721190020022099219122732367257830073896563071386327129752723038669
00000017211900200220992191227323672578300738965630713863271297500
00000017931934203521302220229624162693320643866384713872871770300
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 58
Points: 2161
Owner: Xan Chamberlain
 
Grade: VF 30
Points: 949
Owner: Crawtomatic
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The auction prices realized listed in the NGC Auction Central are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. The auction data listed by NGC may occasionally contain typographical or input errors that can result in incorrect prices realized appearing on the NGC website. Therefore, the prices realized listed in NGC Auction Central are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and facts that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and – when appropriate – expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. By using the NGC Auction Central, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the NGC Auction Central.