Coin Specifications

Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913-1938)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 14,930,000
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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1936 S 5C MS obverse 1936 S 5C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

This is the highest mintage Buffalo Nickel to emanate from the San Francisco Mint, and examples are common across all grades through MS 66. This issue was widely hoarded by the roll in its own time, and speculators were aided in their efforts by the fact that these coins were still being issued a couple years later. When West Coast collectors rushed to their local banks in the fall of 1938 to obtain the new 1938 S Jefferson Nickels, they were almost invariably rewarded instead with fresh rolls of 1936 S and 1937 S Buffalo Nickels!

1936 S nickels were, for the most part, well made. They may be obtained with great luster and sharp strikes, though this will not be true of all survivors. Still, no collector should compromise on the quality of this issue.

Continuing the pattern set the previous year, repunched mintmark varieties are plentiful, and some of them are delightfully obvious. NGC will add the better ones as examples are submitted, but the lesser varieties will not be recognized.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 1/17/2017

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

1936 S 5C MS
Base $ 1.10 1.15 1.50 2.00 4.75 11.50 13.00 14.50 19.00 35.00 36.00 38.00 45.00 57.00 100.00 230 1500 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 63.00 125 430 3650 -

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Total Graded: 1780
Low Grade: VG
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
2/24/2003 PCGS MS 66   Goldberg February 24-25, 2003 Coin Auction, 17/Lot# 251 $161.00
9/17/2008 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2008 September Long Beach, CA US Coin Signature Auction #1116, 1116/Lot# 7775 $517.50
8/30/2009 NGC MS 65   Teletrade Auction 2738, 2738/Lot# 1360 $53.00
7/8/2010 NGC MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 495, 501/Lot# 7195 $80.50
1/5/2011 PCGS MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2011 January Tampa FUN Signature & Platinum Night US Coin Auction Session(2), 1151/Lot# 4468 $977.50
11/11/2012 NGC MS 64   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 11/11/2012, 48/Lot# 53018 $38.00
8/29/2014 PCGS MS 65   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3497, 6051/Lot# 22060 $49.35

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