Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Head Five Cents (1883-1913)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 16,026,200
Obverse Designer: Charles E. Barber
Reverse Designer: Charles E. Barber
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 5.0000g
Diameter: 21.2mm
Edge: Plain
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1883 CENTS 5C MS obverse 1883 CENTS 5C MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

Since the Liberty Head design had been conceived as part of a three-coin set including nickel cents and three-cent pieces of the same design, it was considered unnecessary to include the word CENTS; it would clearly be understood in the context of three matching coins. When only the five-cent piece was actually issued with the new design, sharpers immediately seized on this opportunity by gold plating them and passing them to the unfamiliar as gold five-dollar pieces which, unfortunately, were of about the same size and thickness. The extent to which this was done has been greatly exaggerated, but the fact that it worked even one time would have been enough to force a redesign. The word CENTS was added at the bottom of the reverse, and this caused the Latin motto to be reduced in size and squeezed into a small space above the wreath.

Though the mintage of this subtype was five times that of the No CENTS nickel in 1883, there existed no incentive to same them in Mint State, so this coin is much more scarce across all grades. Nevertheless, there appear to be enough gems to satisfy advanced collectors of the series. Many will reveal slender die cracks, a problem that retired most dies before they could show much wear.

At least three repunched date varieties are known for this issue. One of them (FS-1301) is transitional with the No CENTS issue, a fact seemingly unreported in reference books.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/2/2015

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

1883 CENTS 5C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 18.50 27.50 37.00 55.00 80.00 120 125 130 145 165 175 205 230 315 675 1700 26000 - - -
$ 95.00 - - 135 150 - 185 225 260 355 900 4000 30000 -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1108
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 62
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
1/22/1997 PCGS MS 63   Teletrade Auction 0913, 913/Lot# 1123 $103.55
9/23/2007 NGC MS 67   Goldberg September 23-26, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 42/Lot# 2512 $2,530.00
12/7/2008 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions Sunday Internet Coin Auction #68122, 68122/Lot# 62061 $299.00
8/10/2009 NGC MS 62   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 400, 406/Lot# 140 $172.50
9/4/2011 PCGS MS 66   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 19251/Lot# 1021 $1,170.00
12/11/2011 PCGS MS 63   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/11/2011, 148/Lot# 27942 $211.20
10/17/2012 PCGS MS 64   Stack's Bowers The November 2012 Baltimore Auction - US and World Lots - Live and Internet Only Sessions, 144/Lot# 24311 $282.00
7/7/2013 NGC MS 61   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131329/Lot# 20073 $117.50
1/8/2014 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2014 January 8 - 12 FUN US Coin Signature Auction - Orlando Session(7), 1201/Lot# 8449 $705.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1883 CENTS 5C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base7276115151220304351423437450489539563631684847136322687543795086339359
73891271742483203754284414635065475866497381019166540267679817888750
0000003754284414635065475866497381019166540267679817800
0000003994324464765225556086667931191196657857814840500
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 67
Points: 7543
Owner: Archer Collection
 
Grade: MS 67
Points: 7543
Owner: NMK8104
 
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