Coin Specifications

Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913-1938)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 7,754,000
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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1929 S 5C MS obverse 1929 S 5C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

This is the most common San Francisco Mint nickel of the 1920s across all grades, and this is explained only in part by the slightly higher than usual mintage. A bigger factor was the onset of the Great Depression, which slowed economic activity to the point at which thousands of coins remained idle in Treasury or bank vaults for the next several years. The 1929 S nickel was among the many issues that remained available in Mint State when business began to pick up in 1934-35. Dealers always seemed to have Mint State 1929 S nickels in stock during the late 1930s, while other S-Mint nickels of the 1920s were scarce.

Despite a plentiful supply of unworn examples, gems of this issue are still a bit elusive. Most 1929 S nickels have good luster but weak to average strikes. As always, a handful of exceptional pieces survive that combine great luster with sharp strikes, and these will bring premium prices.

This issue was widely hoarded from circulation beginning in the late 1930s, at which time pieces could still be found in grades XF and AU. Such coins remain plentiful today.

Several repunched mintmark varieties are known for 1929 S nickels, but only a couple of them are of interest. A minor doubled-die obverse variety is also found for this issue.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 1/17/2017

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

1929 S 5C MS
Base $ 1.20 1.35 2.50 4.75 14.00 29.00 32.00 35.00 40.00 52.00 55.00 78.00 105 180 390 850 11000 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 255 460 2450 15000 -

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Total Graded: 943
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 63
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
6/23/1997 NGC MS 65   Teletrade Auction 0956, 956/Lot# 1135 $163.50
2/11/2007 PCGS MS 66   Goldberg February 11-14, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 39/Lot# 1235 $1,260.00
5/14/2007 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2007 May US Coin Online Session #435, 435/Lot# 7543 $368.00
5/27/2007 PCGS MS 66   Goldberg May 27-30, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 41/Lot# 1001 $833.75
2/25/2008 NGC MS 62   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 224, 230/Lot# 226 $69.00
11/11/2012 PCGS MS 63   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 11/11/2012, 48/Lot# 83739 $82.50
7/21/2013 NGC MS 63   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131331/Lot# 24721 $87.00
6/3/2014 PCGS F 15   Stack's Bowers June 2014 Baltimore, 6021/Lot# 4903 $246.75
10/2/2016 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131641/Lot# 24002 $193.88

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