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SERIES: Shield Five Cents 1866-1883
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1871 5C (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS66+

PCGS MS66+

PCGS MS66
PCGS #:
3798
Diameter:
20.50 millimeters
Designer:
James Barton Longacre
Weight:
5.00 grams
Edge:
Plain
Mintage:
561,000
Metal Content:
75% Copper, 25% Nickel
Auction Record:
$9,600 • PCGS MS66 • 6-2-2005 • Heritage
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Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 1,500 R-4.8 5 / 17 TIE 5 / 19 TIE
60 or Better 250 R-6.6 5 / 17 5 / 19
65 or Better 100 R-8.0 7 / 17 TIE 8 / 19 TIE
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66+ PCGS grade

Greenbrier River Collection

1 MS66+ PCGS grade

Heritage 2/2014:3750, $5,875

3 MS66 PCGS grade
3 MS66 PCGS grade  
3 MS66 PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66+ PCGS grade

Greenbrier River Collection

1 MS66+ PCGS grade

Heritage 2/2014:3750, $5,875

3 MS66 PCGS grade
3 MS66 PCGS grade  
3 MS66 PCGS grade  
3 MS66 PCGS grade  
3 MS66 PCGS grade  
3 MS66 PCGS grade  
3 MS66 PCGS grade  
3 MS66 PCGS grade  

Ron Guth: In 1871, the Mint produced only 561,000 Nickels for circulation.  This was a new record low for the series, by far; the previous low was the year before when the Philadelphia Mint produced nearly 5 million Nickels.  Naturally, this is one of the more sought-after of the Shield Nickel dates.  The overall population is sustantially lower than in previous years, and the number of certified Mint State examples dropped by nearly a half.  Surprisingly, a fair number of MS64 to MS65 examples are known, and even the MS66 grade is on par with more common dates such as 1869 and 1870. 

The strike quality on this date is generally quite good, although an occasional piece will show weakness on the stars on the upper to upper right reverse.  As usual, die cracks appear frequently.