Coin Specifications

Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913-1938)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 1,557,000
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 S 5C MS obverse 1921 S 5C MS reverse


  
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VarietyPlus®

There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

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: 5/19/2015

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

1921 S 5C MS
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ 60.00 110 175 385 950 1200 1300 1425 1550 1850 2150 2600 4550 8750 25000 - - - -
$ 1025 - - - - - 2350 3800 5875 12750 - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1198
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 45
High Grade: 66


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
5/24/2005 NGC VF 30   Heritage Auctions Exclusively Internet Auction #25055, 25055/Lot# 13147 $492.20
8/7/2008 NGC VG 10   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 272, 278/Lot# 8179 $142.60
7/15/2012 PCGS VG 10   Teletrade Auction 3311, 3311/Lot# 1735 $60.00
8/19/2012 PCGS VF 20   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 08/19/2012, 36/Lot# 66448 $302.50
9/9/2012 PCGS VF 35   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/09/2012, 39/Lot# 60452 $344.66
2/3/2013 PCGS MS 65   Goldberg February 3-6, 2013 The Pre-Long Beach Auction, 72/Lot# 1183 $9,488.00
3/21/2013 NGC XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2013 March 21 -22 & 24 US Coin Signature Auction - Dallas Session(4), 1183/Lot# 7403 $705.00
3/10/2015 NGC XF 45   Stack's Bowers March 2015 Portland ANA, 6103/Lot# 1408 $352.50


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1921 S 5C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base2483174045639491558164918651969206821612250231924642807340648767138536782472243136828
27134645769211521588172119002002209921912273236725783007389656307138632712975272300
00000017211900200220992191227323672578300738965630713863271297500
00000017931934203521302220229624162693320643866384713872871770300
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: XF 45
Points: 1649
Owner: MOKANDO
 
Grade: VF 20
Points: 949
Owner: The Wilson Collection
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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