Coin Specifications

Category: Jefferson Five Cents (1938-Date)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 4,105,000
Obverse Designer: Felix Schlag
Reverse Designer: Felix Schlag
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 5.0000g
Diameter: 21.2mm
Edge: Plain
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1938 S 5C MS obverse 1938 S 5C MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

The practice by many collectors of acquiring fresh rolls of each date/mint issue was well established by 1938, and so it was that the 1938 S nickel became far more available to later generations than it would seem from its low mintage. Gems are plentiful, though perhaps a little less so than for 1938(P) and 1938 D nickels.

This issue may be found well struck overall, though it is quite rare with even just five full steps. Most coins, however, show overused dies with somewhat eroded details. In rare instances these dies were aggressively repolished, and this accounts for the few pieces certified as prooflike (PL). This was a recurring practice at the San Francisco Mint, and PL nickels having shallow details became increasingly common during the late 1940s and early 50s.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 11/4/2015

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

1938 S 5C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 1.10 1.35 1.65 1.90 2.40 3.00 3.30 3.60 3.90 4.00 4.20 5.00 8.00 16.00 22.50 50.00 380 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - 75.00 - -
1938 S 5C MS Six Full Steps
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2600 - - - -
1938 S 5C MS Five Full Steps
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - - - 52.50 250 520 5500 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1344
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 65
High Grade: 67


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
6/27/2005 PCGS MS 65   Teletrade Auction 2058, 2058/Lot# 1267 $23.00
9/3/2006 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions Exclusively Internet Auction #66092, 66092/Lot# 23089 $42.00
6/10/2007 PCGS MS 66   Teletrade Auction 2379, 2379/Lot# 1176 $20.00
2/7/2011 NGC MS 66   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 556, 563/Lot# 1130 $18.00
4/24/2011 PCGS MS 66   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/24/2011, 112/Lot# 6302 $55.00
1/23/2015 NGC MS 66   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3518, 6087/Lot# 20045 $82.25


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1938 5C MS S Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base333999121216161616162032721022201021111412761451
3359910121316161616172445821414871052116813340
000000121316161616172445821414871052116800
000000121516161616192859921817541083122200
1938 5C MS S Five Full Steps
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base66699916162020202024244121272511663984423946705133
667991116172020202124309838387221054069438348240
00000016172020202124309838387221054069438300
0000001619202020232435155554101930454154452600
1938 5C MS S Six Full Steps
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base999121212202028282832328123756386528074157441948645341
991012121520232828293248133346664151232574244456750230
00000020232828293248133346664151232574244456700
00000020252828313265185454764216037074332471600
1938 5C MS S
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base3336666991212121216286394201958104712011373
334666791012121213204073130453988109812580
000000791012121213204073130453988109800
0000008911121212152451841657061017115000
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 66 5FS
Points: 1166
Owner: rockhobby
 
Grade: MS 67
Points: 958
Owner: *00001AAA Coins
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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