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: 7/10/2015

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

1938 D/S BUFFALO 5C MS
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ 5.75 7.50 10.50 13.50 21.00 33.00 34.00 36.00 42.00 60.00 67.00 85.00 130 150 250 875 11000 - -
$ - - - - - - - 105 140 175 350 7650 -

The World Coin Price Guide is independently compiled by Krause Publications’ NumisMaster. NGC makes this information available to its website visitors as a free service, but in no way does the information provided represent NGC’s official opinion or policy. For example, varieties listed in the World Coin Price Guide may not necessarily be recognized by NGC. Please contact NGC Customer Service with any questions.

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 2026
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
3/11/1998 PCGS MS 64   Teletrade Auction 1031, 1031/Lot# 1186 $81.75
3/24/2003 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2003 Charlotte ANA National Money Bullet Sale #317, 317/Lot# 105 $253.00
5/30/2007 PCGS MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2007 May/June Long Beach, CA Signature US Coin Auction #438, 438/Lot# 597 $1,035.00
5/25/2008 PCGS MS 65   Goldberg May 25-27, 2008 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 47/Lot# 3916 $192.00
6/3/2008 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions Tuesday Internet Coin Auction #28062, 28062/Lot# 22213 $103.50
2/9/2014 PCGS MS 65   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/09/2014, 171/Lot# 154349 $148.50
3/23/2014 PCGS MS 63   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 796, 805/Lot# 779 $80.00
9/19/2014 NGC MS 63   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3500, 6054/Lot# 22113 $51.70


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