1931-S 5C MS66

PCGS#: 3971

Owner's Comments

Expert Comments

David Hall: The 1931-S is a very interesting coin.  The original mintage of 1,200,000 makes it the second lowest mintage Buffalo nickel, after the 1926-S (970,000 originally minted). But the 1931-S is rare in circulated grades but not that rare in mint state. By 1930, some pioneering dealers, such as PCGS CoinFacts Coin Dealer Hall of Fame member Wayte Raymond, had starting saving original uncirculated rolls of newly minted coins. Mintage was a big factor in the decision making process. The 1931-S Buffalo was such a low mintage that quite a few uncirculated specimens were put away in the year of issue. In fact, there may be more uncirculated examples in existence than circulated ones. (This low mintage saving phenominum was repeated years later with the 1950-D Jeffereson nickel, another issue that's rarer circulated than uncirculated.) The very late dates, i.e. the 1936-1938 issues, are much more plentiful in mint state than the 1931-S, but other than that, the 1931-S is just not that tough to find. The mint state survivors usually have a decent strike and luster can be quite frosty. Interestingly, while fairly common in Gem MS65, the 1931-S is somewhat scarce in MS66, and nearly impossible to find in MS67.



Diameter: 21.20 millimeters Designer: James Earle Fraser Edge: Plain
Mintage: 1,200,000 Weight: 5.00 grams Metal Content: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades Survival Estimate Numismatic Rarity Relative Rarity by Type Relative Rarity by Series
All Grades 12,000 R-2.9 43 / 69 TIE 44 / 72 TIE
60 or Better 6,000 R-3.8 60 / 69 TIE 62 / 72 TIE
65 or Better 3,000 R-4.4 57 / 69 TIE 59 / 72 TIE

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67 PCGS grade

Heritage 4/2013:4163, $38,187.50

1 MS67 PCGS grade
1 MS67 PCGS grade
4 MS66+ PCGS grade High Desert Collection (PCGS Set Registry)
4 MS66+ PCGS grade