Description and Analysis

Buffalo Five Cents
1919 5C MS

Description & Analysis

The mintage of this issue was enormous, though its record would be broken the following year. The booming wartime economy, combined with the imposition of temporary taxes during those years, greatly boosted the neee for small value coins.

1919(P) nickels are plentiful across all grades through MS 65. It is very rare to find one fully struck, and even the nicer ones have an overall slight softness that suggests the dies were set further apart than ideal for the sake of extending their utility. Another possibility is that the dies themselves were not hubbed properly and never had complete definition from the outset.

Starting with this year, all Buffalo Nickels have their dates rendered in slightly thicker and much more deeply cut numerals. By 1919 it was already evident that millions of these coins were destined to become dateless, so the Mint took remedial action that helped only slightly. The correct response would have been that taken with the quarter dollar in 1925---recessing the date within an exergue---but this was never done.