Coin Specifications

Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913-1938)
Mint: Denver
Catalog: KM-134
Obverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
Reverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 5.00 Grams
Diameter: 21.2mm
Edge: Plain
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1937 D 3 LEGS 5C MS obverse 1937 D 3 LEGS 5C MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

Coin collecting seems to be among the few hobbies in which the poorest examples of quality control are celebrated, but this issue has been a hot-ticket item since it was first reported in 1939.

Not a true variety, as the missing leg feature was present in the die when new, it is more properly described as a late die state (LDS) striking. The technical term that has been adopted by variety specialists is Abraded Die Reverse (ADR).

Conventional wisdom has it that the removal of the bison's foreleg came about through overpolishing of the die to eradicate clash marks, but other evidence in both dies suggests otherwise. The heavy erosion lines visible in the hindmost leg and in the Indian's neck establishes that this die pair was severely worn at the time. A more likely scenario is that both dies were repolished to smooth their fields by removing the heavy furrows that form on overused dies.

The famed 3-legged nickel is not rare in worn condition, but pieces grading XF and higher are scarce in relation to the great demand. Mint State coins are very elusive, with gems being genuinely rare.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 4/3/2014

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1937 D 3 LEGS 5C MS
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 535 625 725 825 1100 1100 1200 1350 1425 1775 2375 2600 3250 5450 9700 38000 68500 130000 - - -
$ 1175 1300 1425 1575 2150 2500 2800 3650 7000 14350 44000 77500 - -
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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 6117
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 67


Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
9/2/2014 AU 58   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131435/Lot# 21498
9/6/2014 VF 30   Heritage Auctions 2014 September 4 - 6 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(4), 1209/Lot# 7320
9/6/2014 MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2014 September 4 - 6 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(2), 1209/Lot# 3892
9/6/2014 MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2014 September 4 - 6 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(2), 1209/Lot# 3891
9/7/2014 AU 58   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 820, 829/Lot# 845


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
2/5/1994 NGC AU 55   Heritage Auctions February 1994 Long Beach Sale #112, 112/Lot# 6748 $550.00
3/18/1998 NGC MS 62   Heritage Auctions 1998 Mid-Winter ANA Bullet Sale #183, 183/Lot# 145 $1,045.00
5/9/2005 NGC AU 58   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet-Only Auction #38, 42/Lot# 177 $1,667.50
9/2/2007 NGC VF 35   Teletrade Auction 2416, 2416/Lot# 1188 $980.00
5/25/2008 NGC AU 58   Goldberg May 25-27, 2008 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 47/Lot# 3910 $1,980.00
12/13/2012 PCGS AU 55   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 20086/Lot# 1083 $1,170.00
2/22/2013 PCGS VF 30   Stack's Bowers The March 2013 Baltimore Auction, 181/Lot# 6894 $611.00
12/22/2013 PCGS VF 25   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/22/2013, 166/Lot# 143291 $547.80


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1937 D 3 LEGS 5C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base2853604535638209081047117313361435157316581799204826143349565672587756114832970848352
310391489648849954108912271369148116011705188222362859411861907424899817558359220
00000010891227136914811601170518822236285941186190742489981755800
000000113112811402152716291752196524253104488767247590102402363300
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 67
Points: 7756
Owner: misujry
 
Grade: MS 63
Points: 2614
Owner: MarkPaul
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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