US Coins

Values of Liberty Head 5c

The Liberty Head 5-cent coins of the latter half of the series are rather common and will have values of less than $10 in lower circulated grades. However, a 1912-S Liberty Head 5-cent coin, shown, is a key date of the series.

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I have found a few very old nickels and would like to know their values.

Warren Gaiennie Jr.

Clinton, La.

In discussions with Mr. Gaiennie, it was determined that he had Liberty Head 5-cent coins ranging in date from the late 1890s to 1909. When asked about their condition, he said that they were all well circulated.

The Liberty Head 5-cent piece was produced for regular issue from 1883 to 1912 and later issues are typically the most common dates of the series. Common issues grading Fine 12 or less have retail values of less than $5 each. If sold to a coin dealer, the seller could expect to receive perhaps $2 to $3, at most.

However, examples in higher grades or with a Mint mark may be worth more.

Coins in Very Fine condition have retail prices of about $11 to $12. In Extremely Fine 40, the prices move to more than $30. In the lower Mint State grades, even the most common Liberty Head 5-cent coin will be priced close to $100. An MS-63 example is listed in Coin Values at $150.

1912-D and 1912-S Liberty Head 5-cent coins — the only coins of the series to bear Mint marks — possess more value than their unmarked 1912 Philadelphia brother. The 1912-D coin is a $275 purchase in MS-60 and $400 in MS-63. The 1912-S issue is a key date of the series, with a retail value of $1,700 in MS-60 and $2,300 in MS-63.

Finally, the series concludes with the ultra rare 1913 Liberty Head 5-cent coins. With five known, they sell for millions of dollars.

Where can I buy a catalog for coins or bank notes? I would like to have one with almost all the countries.

Ionut Mircea

via Facebook

Coin and paper money books can be purchased wherever books are sold.

For beginners, it might be best to start with generalized guides, such as Coin World’s annual Guide to U.S. Coins, Whitman’s A Guide Book of United States Coins (a.k.a. the “Red Book”), or the Paper Money of the United States by Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg. For generalized world issues, consider Krause’s Standard Catalog of World Coins and Standard Catalog of World Paper Money.

As collectors grow more selective in their tastes, they may then move on to more series-specific guides such as, Whitman’s A Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars, Krause’s Canadian Coin Digest or The Early Paper Money of America by Eric P. Newman.

Coin World’s Readers Ask department does not accept coins or other items for examination without prior permission from staff member Erik Martin. Readers Ask also does not examine error or variety coins. Materials sent to Readers Ask without prior permission will be returned unexamined. Please address all Readers Ask inquiries to or call (800) 673-8311, Ext. 274.

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