Coin Specifications

Category: Shield Five Cents (1866-1883)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 25,900
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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1879 5C MS obverse 1879 5C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

After a two-year suspension of five-cent coinage for circulation the demand had still not built up much by 1879. A mere 25,900 pieces were produced that year, and this date is quite scarce across all grades. Those coins which have survived in Mint State seem to be in higher grades than the usual spread for common dates, but gems are still vastly outnumbered by proofs of similar grade.

The dies were used only briefly and thus lost little of their initial polish, and most Mint State coins are prooflike to some degree. Since the Mint's proofs of this period were made carelessly, there is often quite little visual distinction between the two issues. This problem is further compounded by the fact that at least one obverse die was used for both editions, and this die is distinguished by a repunched date. Authentication is thus mandatory for any 1879 nickel offered as MS versus PF.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 11/12/2019

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

1879 5C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 500 620 750 800 975 1200 1330 1550 1950 2100 2150 2200 2375 3400 3800 5200 13300 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - 2500 3500 4150 7000 - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 92
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 60
High Grade: 67

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: 12/3/2019 1879 5C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base12356123-56-3431120134---92
-----------------3----3
-------------1--------1
-----------------------
Total12356123-56-3531120164---96
 1 %2 %3 %5 %6 %1 %2 %3 %-5 %6 %-3 %5 %3 %11 %21 %17 %4 %--- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
6/24/1996 NGC MS 65   Teletrade Auction 0852, 852/Lot# 1153 $972.00
7/26/2003 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2003 July Baltimore, MD. Signature Sale #328, 328/Lot# 5997 $2,990.00
12/20/2007 NGC MS 66   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 205, 211/Lot# 8297 $2,542.65
5/30/2010 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Bonhams Coins, Medals, and Banknotes, 18301/Lot# 1237 $702.00
2/2/2012 PCGS AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2012 February 2-5 US Coins Signature Auction- Long Beach Session(1), 1167/Lot# 3248 $1,610.00
7/11/2014 PCGS MS 66   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3490, 6041/Lot# 20101 $12,925.00
10/8/2014 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2014 October 8 - 13 PNG New York Invitational US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(4), 1210/Lot# 4655 $4,993.75
1/7/2015 PCGS AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2015 January 7 - 12 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Session(8), 1216/Lot# 9472 $1,410.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1879 5C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base463575705856908990100110131073111311701206122612581303158320092643411194531487416881
500618755873935993100510331086113211821212123612731396172522203132589111260155430
00000010051033108611321182121212361273139617252220313258911126000
00000010091053109911511194121912471288148918672431362176721306700
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 65
Points: 2009
Owner: Amazon
 
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