1931-S 5C (Regular Strike)

Series: Buffalo Five Cents 1913-1938

PCGS MS67

PCGS MS67

View More Images

PCGS MS67

PCGS MS67

PCGS MS67

PCGS MS67

PCGS #:
3971
Designer:
James Earle Fraser
Edge:
Plain
Diameter:
21.20 millimeters
Weight:
5.00 grams
Mintage:
1,200,000
Mint:
San Francisco
Metal:
75% Copper, 25% Nickel
Major Varieties

Current Auctions - PCGS Graded
Current Auctions - NGC Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - PCGS Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates Learn More

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

Condition Census What Is This?

Pos Grade Image Pedigree and History
1 MS67 PCGS grade

Heritage 4/2013:4163, $38,187.50

1 MS67 PCGS grade MS67 PCGS grade
1 MS67 PCGS grade MS67 PCGS grade
1 MS67 PCGS grade
1 MS67 PCGS grade
1 MS67 PCGS grade
1 MS67 PCGS grade
8 MS66+ PCGS grade MS66+ PCGS grade

High Desert Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

8 MS66+ PCGS grade
8 MS66+ PCGS grade
#1 MS67 PCGS grade

Heritage 4/2013:4163, $38,187.50

MS67 PCGS grade #1 MS67 PCGS grade
MS67 PCGS grade #1 MS67 PCGS grade
#1 MS67 PCGS grade
#1 MS67 PCGS grade
#1 MS67 PCGS grade
#1 MS67 PCGS grade
MS66+ PCGS grade #8 MS66+ PCGS grade

High Desert Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

#8 MS66+ PCGS grade
#8 MS66+ PCGS grade
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.

Ron Guth:

According to a notice in the June 1934 issue of The Numismatist (p. 416), collectors could still purchase Uncirculated 1931-S Buffalo Nickels directly from the U.S. Treasury for "the face value of the coins and an amount sufficient to cover the mail charrges by first-class mail."