Coin Specifications

Category: Shield Five Cents (1866-1883)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 16,395,000
Catalog: KM-97
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 5g
Diameter: 20.5mm
Edge: Plain
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1869 5C MS obverse 1869 5C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

The mintage of nickels fell in 1869 from the previous two years, but it was still fairly generous within the series as a whole. Circulated pieces are common, while Mint State coins are noticeably scarcer than for previous dates. Gems are elusive.

Two reverse hub styles were employed for this year's production, though there doesn't seem to be much difference in rarity. The Reverse of 67 is recognizable by a star pointing between lettersAM of AMERICA, while the Reverse of 69 has this star pointing to the M alone. These various changes seem to have resulted from the Mint's efforts to make the reverse of this coin type strike up more fully. The obverse was modified slightly during 1869, as well, but the distinctions are too slight to attract attention from anyone but hardcore specialists. The new hub did, however, include the "Missing Leaf" of earlier issues.

Once again, a large mintage resulted in a proliferation of die-punching varieties, these distributed over both reverse styles. The most obvious variety is an anomalous date punch known variously as the Narrow Date, the Normal Date or the Tall Date. This punch was evidently intended for another denomination but used on a nickel obverse by mistake.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/1/2015

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

1869 5C MS
Base $ 19.00 27.00 33.00 41.00 72.00 105 115 125 145 155 165 200 275 435 800 2500 10000 - - -
$ - - - - - - 180 220 300 475 900 6250 - -

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Total Graded: 540
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 62
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
11/4/2016 MS 67   Stack's Bowers November 2016 Baltimore, 6151/Lot# 4013

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
11/2/2003 NGC MS 63   Teletrade Auction 1800, 1800/Lot# 1048 $231.00
6/27/2005 NGC MS 63   David Lawrence Rare Coins Auction 43: The Cook Family Collection, 47/Lot# 358 $166.75
9/23/2007 NGC MS 63   Goldberg September 23-26, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 42/Lot# 1160 $184.00
6/10/2012 PCGS XF 45   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/10/2012, 26/Lot# 52159 $58.30
9/6/2012 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2012 September 6-9 US Coins Signature Auction- Long Beach Session(1), 1174/Lot# 3618 $4,993.75
2/24/2013 NGC Details AU Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/24/2013, 63/Lot# 101640 $51.88
4/2/2015 NGC AU 55   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3528, 6097/Lot# 20079 $82.25

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1869 5C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 65
Points: 1233
Owner: Amazon
Grade: MS 64
Points: 1013
Owner: Rick's Keepers
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