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.
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1938 D/S BUFFALO 5C MS obverse 1938 D/S BUFFALO 5C MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

First revealed in 1961, the 1938 D/S nickel was thought to be rare until collectors began searching for this variety. Only then did it become evident that thousands had survived, many in Mint State. This was due to the overall hoarding of 1938 D Buffalo Nickels that made searching for the variety so easy.

There were actually several reverse dies marked for San Francisco which were overpunched with a D mintmark when it became evident that only Denver would coin Buffalo Nickels in 1938. The most obvious examples will be certified generically as D/S under regular grading tiers when requested on the submission form. Identification of specific varieties by number requires that the submitter request and pay for VarietyPlus Service.

Like the 1938 D/D varieties, these are actually not rare when spread across several dies. The most desirable variety is FS-511 (photos). It is seen on the left in an early die state (EDS) with three D mintmarks punched over the S. Shown at right is the late die state (LDS) in which only the deepest D still remains, due to the die erosion evidenced by heavy flow lines.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 4/3/2014

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1938 D/S BUFFALO 5C MS
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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1977
Low Grade: F
Average Grade: 65
High Grade: 68


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
4/9/2000 PCGS MS 66   Teletrade Auction 1293, 1293/Lot# 1159 $272.50
5/25/2002 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions Exclusively Internet Auction #22102, 22102/Lot# 13291 $195.50
1/12/2005 NGC MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2005 Ft. Lauderdale FL. (FUN) Signature Sale #360, 360/Lot# 5945 $2,185.00
5/28/2006 PCGS MS 66   Goldberg May 28-31, 2006 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 36/Lot# 136 $603.75
4/9/2009 NGC MS 67   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 358, 364/Lot# 7320 $816.50
6/23/2013 PCGS MS 65   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/23/2013, 80/Lot# 123104 $89.10
7/11/2014 NGC MS 65   Stack's Bowers August 2014 Chicago ANA, 6014/Lot# 5491 $217.38


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