Five Cents, Coin Type from United States - detailed information

Five Cents, Coin Type from United States (issued 1792 - )
Coin TypeFive Cents

The United States Five Cents coin (written as ) is a unit of currency equalling one-twentieth of a United States dollar. 1792 Half Disme (as it was initially called) was the first denomination of the dollar issued into circulation. Renamed to a Half Dime, it was a silver coin from 1794 until 1873, with several changes of design.

Between 1794 and 1805, the value and denomination were not shown and the coin and had to be inferred from its size.

Silver was eventually replaced by a copper-nickel piece officially named Five Cents (most often just called a nickel) introduced in 1866, which has also undergone several design changes since then. The denomination has also been used for issuing some circulating commemorative types.

Five Cent coins have been struck by several different mints:
- Philadelphia Mint, 1792 to present; no mint mark 1792 - 1942 and 1945 - 1979, letter P 1942 - 1945 and 1980 - present
- New Orleans Mint, 1838 to 1860, mint mark O
- San Francisco Mint, 1863 to present (from 1972 - collector coins only), mint mark S
- Denver Mint, 1912 to present, mint mark D
- West Point Mint, 2020 (collector coins only), mint mark W

Obverse
United States / Five Cents - obverse photo

There have been a number of obverse designs during the history of the denomination.

The first design showed a portrait of Liberty with flowing hair, facing left. The legend around it was LIB · PAR · OF SCIENCE & INDUSTRY · (abbreviated from "Liberty, Parent of Science and Industry" - the first motto of the United States). This was only issued in 1792.

The second design (1794 and 1795) showed a different portrait of Liberty with flowing hair, this time facing right. I was surround ed by 13 stars, representing the first states forming the United States. The inscription above was LIBERTY, and the date of issue was below.

The third obverse (1796 - 1805) shows a draped bust of Liberty facing right, again surrounded by 13 stars, with LIBERTY above and the date of issue below.

The fourth obverse (1829 - 1837) shows a "Capped Liberty" - Liberty wearing a Phrygian cap. The inscription LIBERTY is on a band across the cap. Again, there are 13 stars around, and the date is below.

The fifth obverse (1837 - 1873) shows a seated depiction of Liberty who is holding a Liberty pole surmounted by a Phrygian cap (a type of cap which in Ancient Rome was worn by freed slaves). With her right hand, she supports the Union Shield, which has thirteen vertical stripes, white and red, with a blue horizontal bar on top. The colours are represented by heraldic hatching (thin lines indicating the colour - horizontal stripes for blue, vertical for red, no stripes for white). Across the shield, a diagonal banner inscribed with the word LIBERTY. Below, the date of issue. In 1837 only, there was a plain background; after that, there were 13 stars surrounding the figure. The stars were replaced by the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in 1860.

The first copper-nickel coins were issued in parallel with the silver half dimes for a time. Between 1866 and 1883, the obverse shows a rendition of the Union Shield from the Great Seal of the United States, with the motto IN GOD WE TRUST around above and the date of issue below.

The seventh obverse (1883 - 1913) is known as the "Liberty Head" and has a portrait of Liberty at centre, facing left and surrounded by 13 stars, with the date of issue below. The word LIBERTY is inscribed on a diadem in her hair.

The eighth obverse (1913 - 1938), known as the "Indian Head Nickel" shows the portrait of an American Indian man facing right, his plaited hair hanging below his shoulder, with a decoration of two large bird feathers hanging down in the back. Around right, the inscription LIBERTY. The date of issue: [year], is in relief on the Indian's shoulder. Incuse below that, a small letter F represents the initial of the sculptor, James E. Fraser.

Coins issued from 1939 to present are known as "Jefferson Nickels", as they all feature a portrait of Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826) - the third President of the United States (1801 - 1809).

From 1939 to 2004, the obverse featured a left-facing portrait of Jefferson, his long hair tied behind his back with a ribbon. Around left, the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. Around right, LIBERTY and the date of issue.

In 2005 only, there was a right-facing portrait of Thomas Jefferson. On these coins, "Liberty" is written in his own handwriting, taken from his draft of the Declaration of independence.

From 2006 to present, the obverse displays a facing portrait of Jefferson, with "Liberty" still in his own handwriting.

Obverse Inscription IN GOD WE TRUST LIBERTY [year]
Reverse
United States / Five Cents - reverse photo

There have been a number of reverse designs during the history of the denomination.

The first design showed a flying eagle as its main device. The denomination was given as HALF DISME - the only time the word was used. The legend was abbreviated as UNI · STATES OF AMERICA. This was only issued in 1792.

The second design (1794 - 1797) showed a standing eagle surrounded by a wreath, with the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around.

The third reverse (1800 - 1805) shows a "heraldic" eagle, with the Shield of the Great Seal of the United States on its breast. The eagle clutches a scroll with the motto E pluribus unum ("Out of Many, One"), a bundle of seven arrows in its right talon, and an olive branch in its left talon. Over its head there appears a "glory" with of clouds and 13 mullets (stars). Around, the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

The fourth reverse (1829 - 1837) shows a standing eagle holding arrows and an olive branch. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is around above and the value and denomination are shown as 5 C. below.

The fifth reverse (1837 - 1873) shows the value and denomination at centre, on two lines and written in words: HALF DIME. It is surrounded by a wreath. Between 1837 and 1859 this is a laurel wreath, with the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around. It was redesigned to show a more ornate (and larger) wreath between 1860 and 1873, when the legend was moved to the obverse.

The first copper-nickel coins were issued in parallel with the silver half dimes for a time. Between 1866 and 1883, the reverse shows a large numeral 5 for the value at centre, surrounded by 13 stars; in 1866 only, there were rays separating the stars. The denomination CENTS is around below, and the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is around above.

The seventh reverse (1883 - 1913) is known as the "V Nickel", as it hs a Roman numeral: V for the value 5, and the denomination CENTS below. The value is surrounded by a wreath; the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM is above, and the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is around above in larger letters. During the first part of 1883, the word "CENTS" was omitted and "E PLURIBUS UNUM" was below; this however lead to people gilding the coins and passing them as gold 5 dollars, so the design was quickly changed.

The eighth reverse (1913 - 1938), known as the "Buffalo Nickel", shows an American bison (colloquially known as a buffalo, thus giving the coin its name), with its head lowered, standing to left. Around above, the legend UNITED · STATES · OF · AMERICA. Below that, to the right and above the buffalo's back, on three lines the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. In the exergue, the value and denomination in words: FIVE CENTS.

The ninth definitive obverse was introduced with the introduction of the "Jefferson Nickel" type in 1939 and features Thomas Jefferson's house Monticello. Below, its name: MONTICELLO. Around below that, the value and denomination in words: FIVE CENTS. Around above, the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. Around below in larger letters, the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
The design was updated in 2006, retaining all original elements with a modernised rendition.

Reverse Inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM MONTICELLO FIVE CENTS UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
EdgeEdge Inscription
Notes

For coins of other countries denominated as Five Cents, see:
- Five Cents, South Africa - issued 1961 to 2011, withdrawn 2012
- Five Cents, Australia - issued 1966 to present
- Five Cents, Bahamas - issued 1966 to present
- Five Cents, New Zealand - issued 1967 to 2006, demonetised 2006
- Five Cents, Fiji - issued 1969 to present

Coin Type: Five Cents - (214) Coins (Page 1 of 3)
Coin NameMintageSymbol or PortraitLegend
Half Disme 1792 unknown Liberty, Portrait LIB · PAR · OF SCIENCE & INDUSTRY · 1792
Half Dime 1794 Flowing Hair 7,756 American Eagle ******** LIBERTY ******* 1794
Half Dime 1795 Flowing Hair 78,660 American Eagle ******** LIBERTY ******* 1795
Half Dime 1796 Draped Bust 10,230 Liberty, Portrait ******** LIBERTY ******* 1796
Half Dime 1797 Draped Bust 44,527 Liberty, Portrait ******** LIBERTY ******* 1797
Half Dime 1800 Draped Bust 40,000 Liberty, Portrait ******* LIBERTY ****** 1800
Half Dime 1801 Draped Bust 27,760 Liberty, Portrait ******* LIBERTY ****** 1801
Half Dime 1802 Draped Bust 3,060 Liberty, Portrait ******* LIBERTY ****** 1802
Half Dime 1803 Draped Bust 37,850 Liberty, Portrait ******* LIBERTY ****** 1803
Half Dime 1805 Draped Bust 15,600 Liberty, Portrait ******* LIBERTY ****** 1805
Half Dime 1829 Capped Bust 1,230,000 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1829
Half Dime 1830 Capped Bust 1,240,000 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1830
Half Dime 1831 Capped Bust 1,242,700 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1831
Half Dime 1832 Capped Bust 965,000 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1832
Half Dime 1833 Capped Bust 1,370,000 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1833
Half Dime 1834 Capped Bust 1,480,000 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1834
Half Dime 1835 Capped Bust 2,760,000 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1835
Half Dime 1836 Capped Bust 1,900,000 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1836
Half Dime 1837 Capped Bust 871,000 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1837
Half Dime 1837 Seated Liberty 1,405,000 Seated Liberty 1837
Half Dime 1838 Seated Liberty 2,295,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1838
Half Dime 1839 Seated Liberty 2,129,150 Seated Liberty ************* 1839
Half Dime 1840 Seated Liberty 2,279,085 Seated Liberty ************* 1840
Half Dime 1841 Seated Liberty 1,965,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1841
Half Dime 1842 Seated Liberty 1,165,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1842
Half Dime 1843 Seated Liberty 1,165,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1843
Half Dime 1844 Seated Liberty 650,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1844
Half Dime 1845 Seated Liberty 1,564,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1845
Half Dime 1846 Seated Liberty 27,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1846
Half Dime 1847 Seated Liberty 1,274,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1847
Half Dime 1848 Seated Liberty 1,268,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1848
Half Dime 1849 Seated Liberty 1,449,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1849
Half Dime 1850 Seated Liberty 1,645,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1850
Half Dime 1851 Seated Liberty 1,641,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1851
Half Dime 1852 Seated Liberty 1,260,500 Seated Liberty ************* 1852
Half Dime 1853 Seated Liberty 15,705,020 Seated Liberty *************←1853 →
Half Dime 1854 Seated Liberty 7,300,000 Seated Liberty *************←1854 →
Half Dime 1855 Seated Liberty 2,350,000 Seated Liberty *************←1855 →
Half Dime 1856 Seated Liberty 5,980,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1856
Half Dime 1857 Seated Liberty 8,660,000 Seated Liberty ************* 1857
Half Dime 1858 Seated Liberty 5,160,300 Seated Liberty ************* 1858
Half Dime 1859 Seated Liberty 900,800 Seated Liberty ************* 1859
Half Dime 1860 Seated Liberty 1,859,000 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1860
Half Dime 1861 Seated Liberty 3,361,000 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1861
Half Dime 1862 Seated Liberty 1,492,550 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1862
Half Dime 1863 Seated Liberty 118,460 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1863
Half Dime 1864 Seated Liberty 138,470 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1864
Half Dime 1865 Seated Liberty 133,500 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1865
Half Dime 1866 Seated Liberty 130,725 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1866
Five Cents 1866 Shield Nickel 14,743,100 Shield of the Coat of Arms IN GOD WE TRUST 1866
Half Dime 1867 Seated Liberty 128,625 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1867
Five Cents 1867 Shield Nickel 30,910,125 Shield of the Coat of Arms IN GOD WE TRUST 1867
Half Dime 1868 Seated Liberty 369,200 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1868
Five Cents 1868 Shield Nickel 28,817,600 Shield of the Coat of Arms IN GOD WE TRUST 1868
Half Dime 1869 Seated Liberty 438,600 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1869
Five Cents 1869 Shield Nickel 16,395,600 Shield of the Coat of Arms IN GOD WE TRUST 1869
Half Dime 1870 Seated Liberty 536,001 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1870
Five Cents 1870 Shield Nickel 4,807,000 Shield of the Coat of Arms IN GOD WE TRUST 1870
Half Dime 1871 Seated Liberty 2,034,960 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1871
Five Cents 1871 Shield Nickel 561,960 Shield of the Coat of Arms IN GOD WE TRUST 1871
Half Dime 1872 Seated Liberty 3,784,950 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1872
Five Cents 1872 Shield Nickel 6,036,950 Shield of the Coat of Arms IN GOD WE TRUST 1872
Half Dime 1873 Seated Liberty 1,036,600 Seated Liberty UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1873
Five Cents 1873 Shield Nickel 4,551,100 Shield of the Coat of Arms IN GOD WE TRUST 1873
Five Cents 1874 Shield Nickel 3,538,700 Shield of the Coat of Arms IN GOD WE TRUST 1874
Five Cents 1875 Shield Nickel 2,097,700 Shield of the Coat of Arms IN GOD WE TRUST 1875
Five Cents 1876 Shield Nickel 2,531,150 Shield of the Coat of Arms IN GOD WE TRUST 1876
Five Cents 1877 Shield Nickel 510 Shield of the Coat of Arms IN GOD WE TRUST 1877
Five Cents 1878 Shield Nickel 2,350 Shield of the Coat of Arms IN GOD WE TRUST 1878
Five Cents 1879 Shield Nickel 29,100 Shield of the Coat of Arms IN GOD WE TRUST 1879
Five Cents 1880 Shield Nickel 19,955 Shield of the Coat of Arms IN GOD WE TRUST 1880
Five Cents 1881 Shield Nickel 72,375 Shield of the Coat of Arms IN GOD WE TRUST 1881
Five Cents 1882 Shield Nickel 11,476,000 Shield of the Coat of Arms IN GOD WE TRUST 1882
Five Cents 1883 Shield Nickel 1,456,919 Shield of the Coat of Arms IN GOD WE TRUST 1883
Five Cents 1883 Liberty Head Nickel 21,512,502 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1883
Five Cents 1884 Liberty Head Nickel 11,273,942 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1884
Five Cents 1885 Liberty Head Nickel 1,476,490 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1885
Five Cents 1886 Liberty Head Nickel 3,330,290 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1886
Five Cents 1887 Liberty Head Nickel 15,263,652 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1887
Five Cents 1888 Liberty Head Nickel 10,172,483 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1888
Five Cents 1889 Liberty Head Nickel 15,881,361 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1889
Five Cents 1890 Liberty Head Nickel 16,259,272 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1890
Five Cents 1891 Liberty Head Nickel 16,834,350 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1891
Five Cents 1892 Liberty Head Nickel 11,699,642 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1892
Five Cents 1893 Liberty Head Nickel 13,370,195 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1893
Five Cents 1894 Liberty Head Nickel 5,413,132 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1894
Five Cents 1895 Liberty Head Nickel 9,979,884 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1895
Five Cents 1896 Liberty Head Nickel 8,842,920 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1896
Five Cents 1897 Liberty Head Nickel 20,428,735 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1897
Five Cents 1898 Liberty Head Nickel 12,532,087 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1898
Five Cents 1899 Liberty Head Nickel 26,029,031 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1899
Five Cents 1900 Liberty Head Nickel 27,255,995 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1900
Five Cents 1901 Liberty Head Nickel 26,480,213 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1901
Five Cents 1902 Liberty Head Nickel 31,489,579 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1902
Five Cents 1903 Liberty Head Nickel 28,006,725 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1903
Five Cents 1904 Liberty Head Nickel 21,404,984 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1904
Five Cents 1905 Liberty Head Nickel 29,827,276 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1905
Five Cents 1906 Liberty Head Nickel 38,613,725 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1906
Five Cents 1907 Liberty Head Nickel 39,214,800 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1907
Five Cents 1908 Liberty Head Nickel 22,686,177 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1908
Showing 1 to 100 of 214 Coins.
Advertising
Buy American Gold Eagle Coins
Buy American Gold Eagle Coins
Five Cents: Details
CountryUnited States
CurrencyUS Dollar
Sub-types Half Disme
Half Dime, Flowing Hair
Half Dime, Draped Bust
Half Dime, Capped Bust
Half Dime, Seated Liberty
Five Cents, Shield Nickel
Five Cents, Liberty Head
Five Cents, Buffalo Nickel
Five Cents, Jefferson Nickel
From1792
Face Value5 (x Cent)
CurrentYes
MaterialCuproNickel
Designer
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size21.210 mm
Thickness1.950 mm
Mass5.000 g