Is the 1913 Type One proof Buffalo nickel particularly known for clashed dies?
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I am cataloging a coin that is certified as a proof, but curiously, it is struck off nicely clashed dies. Comments and insights gratefully welcomed!

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Possibly but unlikely. Did you check the edges of the coin?

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I don't recall having seen such a coin - does it really look like a Proof?

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I neglected to mention that it is in a reliable TPG holder and graded as a proof. To be honest, I really had (and may still have) my doubts as to the veracity of the "proof" designation (which is why I posed my question). I don't have permission to present an image (yet). Here is my catalog description so far - it's long, and I haven't proofread it yet:

 

Your cataloger does not profess to be an expert in the field of early proof Buffalo nickels, a brief series of five coins spanning just four years (1913 - 1916). It can be very difficult to discern a satin proof from its business strike brethren, but the diagnostics most often mentioned require examination of the rim to determine whether they are very sharply squared off and broader than what is seen on non-proofs. Lamentable is the fact that it can be nearly impossible to ascertain these diagnostics for a coin in a slab insert, since the inner washer bleeds over the edge of the coin.

 

Be that as it may, for the example at hand, your cataloger notes the unmistakably meticulous strike quality that rendered the very finest of possible details, including swirls of hair-thin die polish beneath the Indian's chin, and remarkably sharp and jagged field rugosity in the vicinity of the bison's hooves. Of exceptional interest for this coin is the fact that it is struck off of well clashed dies, and indeed, one consequence of that event is the fact that E PLURIBUS UNUM is vaguely defined, quite a distinction from the usual extreme sharpness of these words on proof coins struck from newer dies. The loss of definition is clearly attributable to remnants of the clashed die, and further evidence of the clashing includes curious die anomolaies gathered along the front of the Indian's proflie, particularly his nose.

 

There does not seem to be a definitive reference study on the use of die polish or die characterstics as a diagnostic method for verifying a matte proof Buffalo nickel's proof status, but notable characteristics of this particular coin include a dimnutive perfectly-shaped diagonal teardrop die gouge perfectly centered between the end of lowest feather and the Indian's shoulder, and a very shallow, oblong field die gouge about two millimeters in length, separated one millimeter from the center of the Indian's jawline.

 

Technical considerations that lead to just a PR-64 grade for this example are strictly due to production issues, as this coin bears absolutely no sign of post-mint impairment. A planchet lamination traverses the very end of the high feather, and a group of about twenty tiny planchet abrasions cluster upon the bison's shoulder. None of these issues is even remotely distracting at arm's length, and indeed, at normal viewing position, the eye appeal is considerably augmented by the presence of glowing chartreuse-cinnamon field color that contrasts pleasantly with icy-green iridescence atop the devices. Although technically more common than the type-2 version, the type-1 format is a one year type, and more highly prized for that reason.

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James, I just started to read the description and noticed that you used the term "satin proof". It should say "matte proof", as only (some of the) 1936's (and perhaps the 1927's) are satin.

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Sounds more like an early strike from production dies. There are many clashed dies in the early Buffalos including 1913. Which type is it? What do the rims look like? What about the junction of field and rim? (I really dislike those stupid holders….)

 

A medal press was used to strike the proofs, and they did not have automatic planchet feeders.

 

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A number of trial coins were seemingly lost that closely resemble proofs. Does it have the initial F? The fields were textured and mimic a proof on early strke productions. Is the top of the 3 flat or round (not that it matters much for identification)? I agree with RWB that it is probably from clashed production dies (unless the press operator forgot to put a planchet in).

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Here an NGC certified 1913 Type 1 nickel in Matte Proof 66 if that would be any help ... This coin is toned to a grayish finish.

 

1913TY1SO.jpg1913TY1SR.jpg

 

There might be a Matte Proof out there with clashed dies, but one would have thought that it would have been reported by now. I think that the 1914 Matte Proof nickel always comes with a minor die break on the reverse ... if memory serves.

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Hello everyone I’m new to NGC as I have been mistreated by PCGS for too long now. I am going to agree with the topic question, and that of is there a clashed example? The answer is yes and I will post the picture. The clash starts in the feathers and goes across the face and cheek also notice the fine lines in the hair. Notice he has a purple eyeball and appears to have a soul; only the matte proofs do that. Look at the date and liberty and there you go. They claim the senior grader looked over it and determined it’s not a proof, there is no die crack above his head and by his chin, and that there is no clash or doubling. This is a normal $70 nickel. Your opinion?

https://www.pcgs.com/shared-orders/order-details/21596444

Edited by AWenger
I want to be alerted when someone replies

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7 hours ago, AWenger said:

Hello everyone I’m new to NGC as I have been mistreated by PCGS for too long now. I am going to agree with the topic question, and that of is there a clashed example? The answer is yes and I will post the picture. The clash starts in the feathers and goes across the face and cheek also notice the fine lines in the hair. Notice he has a purple eyeball and appears to have a soul; only the matte proofs do that. Look at the date and liberty and there you go. They claim the senior grader looked over it and determined it’s not a proof, there is no die crack above his head and by his chin, and that there is no clash or doubling. This is a normal $70 nickel. Your opinion?

https://www.pcgs.com/shared-orders/order-details/21596444

Welcome to the forum. Based on the picture, you coin looks like a business strike to me.

https://www.pcgs.com/cert/37398900

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When you get it back (and presumably crack it) I'd take a close look at that green up at the top of where the feathers are joined (about 11 o'clock), and between the back hooves.  

buffalo.jpg

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Thanks Homer, I’m assuming you agree with me that this is indeed a matte proof?

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1 hour ago, AWenger said:

The auction coin you linked is much sharper, overall and has rims that are markedly different from your coin. Among other indicators, some of the letters in LIBERTY bleed into the rim on yours - you shouldn't see that on a Proof. Some business strikes are well enough made, such that they somewhat resemble Proofs, but I don't see yours as one of them.

Edited by MarkFeld

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The rims are as sharp if not sharper, the picture they took does not do the coin justice. Also the reason for the sloppy strike is the die was deteriorating and there is strong clashing. Also the die cracks help back that up in my opinion. This was most likely one of the last coins struck of the matte proofs but that is pure speculation. I appreciate everyone sharing their opinions no matter what side they go! 👍

28 minutes ago, Star City Homer said:

When you get it back (and presumably crack it) I'd take a close look at that green up at the top of where the feathers are joined (about 11 o'clock), and between the back hooves.  

buffalo.jpg

 

35E48179-5E0E-43F1-9CEA-C40BE4EE9427.jpeg

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21 minutes ago, AWenger said:

The rims are as sharp if not sharper, the picture they took does not do the coin justice. Also the reason for the sloppy strike is the die was deteriorating and there is strong clashing. Also the die cracks help back that up in my opinion. This was most likely one of the last coins struck of the matte proofs but that is pure speculation. I appreciate everyone sharing their opinions no matter what side they go! 👍

 

 

The pictures aren't responsible for making letters bleed into the rim or for other areas of striking weakness.

Additionally, I have never see a Matte Proof Buffalo of any date that displayed die deterioration and die cracks like that which you see on your coin. Nor would I expect to, as the coins were struck in small quantities. 

Hopefully, others will provide their opinions, too.

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10 hours ago, MarkFeld said:

Welcome to the forum. Based on the picture, you coin looks like a business strike to me.

https://www.pcgs.com/cert/37398900

I agree with Mark and PCGS.......I'm seeing business strike.  I think that the coin is properly graded.

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8 hours ago, AWenger said:

Thanks Homer, I’m assuming you agree with me that this is indeed a matte proof?

Actually no. 

First, I am not well informed on this series. 

I find it unlikely for a proof die to remain in service once deteriorating to the extent proposed, and with a mintage of only 1,520 (according to google-fu) this presents an unlikely scenario.  

That said I try to keep an open mind.   I would be interested in credible research that would support a die with extensive conditional problems being used in a proof issue of 1,520 .

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33 minutes ago, Star City Homer said:

Actually no. 

First, I am not well informed on this series. 

I find it unlikely for a proof die to remain in service once deteriorating to the extent proposed, and with a mintage of only 1,520 (according to google-fu) this presents an unlikely scenario.  

That said I try to keep an open mind.   I would be interested in credible research that would support a die with extensive conditional problems being used in a proof issue of 1,520 .

Well said Homer.  You make many good points that I think were in the minds of many of us when we responded to this thread.  It'd be pretty difficult to have that kind of an error on dies that were so lightly used.  With US proof coins of this era, there were also very few die pairs used, sometimes only a single pair.  The error isn't impossible though, but it is highly unlikely.

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On 5/2/2019 at 9:22 AM, Star City Homer said:

When you get it back (and presumably crack it) I'd take a close look at that green up at the top of where the feathers are joined (about 11 o'clock), and between the back hooves.  

buffalo.jpg

THIS ABOVE PICTURED COIN IS DEFINITELY NOT A PROOF, 

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