Coin Specifications

Category: Shield Five Cents (1866-1883)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 4,806,000
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 5.0000g
Diameter: 20.5mm
Edge: Plain
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1870 5C MS obverse 1870 5C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

By 1870 it was evident that the retirement of five-cent notes was effectively complete. Thus, the mintage of this date was low in comparison to earlier years, being limited to the number of coins needed to replace those lost or withdrawn from circulation.

With this lower mintage, the 1870 nickel is moderately scarce in Mint State, with gems being genuinely rare. The only upside is that the Mint had finally figured out how to make these coins with decent strikes and luster. The severe cracking and chipping of dies common to early issues are not as evident during the 1870s.

Despite its diminished production, the 1870 nickel is still rich in varieties, reaffirming this coin series' claim as a cherrypicker's delight. Two of the more unusual varieties include a die-clashing of the nickel obverse with the cent obverse and a doubled-die reverse from two different hubs---the Reverse of 69 over the Reverse of 67. The best of these varieties are recognized by NGC under its VarietyPlus Service.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 2/15/2019

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

1870 5C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 29.00 39.00 57.70 78.50 122 141 157 182 208 225 273 298 435 618 1830 4000 10000 - - -
$ 125 - 165 - - - 275 300 450 675 2600 7250 - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 246
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 61
High Grade: 66

The chart showing PrAg series, G series, VG series, F series, VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series, 66 series, 67 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 2/18/2019 1870 5C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base2323144744716-11253765375----246
------------------1---1
---------------1------1
-----------------------
Total2323144744716-112537663751---248
 1 %1 %1 %1 %6 %2 %3 %2 %2 %3 %6 %-4 %10 %15 %27 %15 %2 %0 %--- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
5/31/2004 NGC MS 65   Goldberg May 31 - June 2, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 25/Lot# 463 $1,150.00
5/14/2007 NGC MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 141, 146/Lot# 283 $1,380.00
6/7/2009 PCGS AU 55   Teletrade Auction 2702, 2702/Lot# 1308 $126.50
8/14/2011 NGC VF 25   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 08/14/2011, 131/Lot# 13202 $86.90
3/31/2013 PCGS MS 61   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131315/Lot# 22777 $305.50
3/2/2014 NGC AU 55   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131410/Lot# 29094 $117.50
2/5/2015 PCGS MS 66   Stack's Bowers 2015 Americana Auction, 6070/Lot# 1312 $3,231.25
5/7/2017 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131720/Lot# 25037 $587.50


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1870 5C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base202841547613117121225127531133640948958686514501969388588591549217560
2232456194144184225259287319360435521679106016232607554311070161810
00000018422525928731936043552167910601623260755431107000
00000019823826729932738446255377212551796324672011328100
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 64
Points: 865
Owner: Amazon
 
Grade: MS 62
Points: 489
Owner: D. L. Tyler
 
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