Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Head Five Cents (1883-1913)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 5,474,300
Catalog: KM-111
Obverse Designer: Charles E. Barber
Reverse Designer: Charles E. Barber
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 5g
Diameter: 21.2mm
Edge: Plain
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1883 NO CENTS 5C MS obverse 1883 NO CENTS 5C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

The dies for Charles Barber's new Liberty Head Nickel were not quite ready at the beginning of 1883, and the Philadelphia Mint was compelled to produce well over a million of the old Shield Nickels to meet immediate demand. The first new coins were struck January 30 and released two days later.

This issue had a fairly short production run before the reverse was revised to include the value CENTS (see next entry). As a new design, this coin would have been hoarded to some extent in any case, but false rumors spread that the CENTS-less nickels would be recalled and become rare. As a result, this is the most common Liberty Head Nickel in Mint State grades, and circulated pieces grading XF and AU are also rather common. Gems are plentiful, to the delight of type collectors seeking this one-year-only edition.

The typical 1883 No CENTS nickel is weakly struck in several stars and at the corn cob in the lower left portion of the wreath (this second trouble spot is directly opposite the highest point of relief on the obverse). Well struck pieces are available, due to the sheer number of Mint State survivors.

This type and all subsequent copper-nickel five-cent pieces are slightly larger in diameter than the Shield type. This change was made to improve striking quality, though it was only modestly successful in that respect. At five grams the nickel was still too thick in relation to its diameter for good filling of the dies.

This issue is rich in repunched date varieties, most of them rather minor. The better ones are recognized by NGC under its VarietyPlus Service.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 8/31/2015

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

Base $ 7.50 8.75 10.00 11.25 12.50 14.00 15.50 19.00 24.00 30.00 33.00 41.00 62.00 95.00 230 435 4200 - - -
$ - - - - 26.00 - 36.00 47.00 66.00 105 250 950 - -

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Total Graded: 7305
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
2/26/1996 NGC MS 65   Teletrade Auction 0818, 818/Lot# 253 $185.30
3/27/2006 NGC MS 66   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 80, 85/Lot# 171 $546.25
2/10/2008 PCGS MS 66   Goldberg February 10-13, 2008 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 44/Lot# 1924 $437.00
6/2/2010 NGC MS 65   Prooflike Heritage Auctions 2010 June Long Beach, CA Signature US Coin Auction #1140, 1140/Lot# 7341 $253.00
11/9/2010 NGC MS 65   Stack's Bowers The November 2010 Baltimore Online Session, 69/Lot# 10407 $140.30
4/27/2011 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2011 April Rosemont CSNS Signature & Platinum Night US Coin Auction Session(6), 1154/Lot# 9808 $299.00
10/13/2011 NGC MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2011 October 13-16 US Coins Signature Auction #1160- Pittsburgh Session(1), 1160/Lot# 3367 $373.75
2/16/2014 PCGS MS 63   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/16/2014, 174/Lot# 168955 $31.00
10/12/2014 PCGS AU 58   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/12/2014, 190/Lot# 128916 $190.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1883 NO CENTS 5C MS
1883 NO CENTS 5C MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 67
Points: 3433
Owner: NMK8104
Grade: MS 67
Points: 2754
Owner: Davis Creek Trust
View the Registry Image Gallery

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