Prooflike (PL) Buffalo Nickel
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3 hours ago, physics-fan3.14 said:

No, PCGS will only label PL on Morgan dollars, and a few other series (like modern UHR gold). There are a few rare pieces which PCGS has labelled as PL, but generally they don't. 

NGC, on the other hand, designates any US or World coin as PL if it warrants it. 

Roger, you are assuming there is a standard for PL coins. There isn't. It isn't published anywhere, because there is no standard. The graders decide if they feel a coin has mirrors strong enough to warrant a PL, and that can vary from series to series. The mirrors on a PL Buffalo, or a PL Capped Bust Half, or a PL Liberty $20, are not comparable. We as collectors like to believe there is a standard (measured in "inches of reflectivity"), but that is not the case. 

Jason, nice to see you back! And I'm also glad you brought up that point. It is not possible to measure the reflective of a Roosevelt dime in the same manner as a Morgan Dollar. The surfaces are very different, and yet you know a PL when you see one.

In fact, PL silver Roosevelt dimes and Silver Washington quarters look very much like brilliant Proofs of the period, which again, look nothing like Morgan Dollars.

Finally, Satin Proofs are technically Proofs but are not traditional, and I think they came onto the scene well after brilliant Proofs. This could easily explain why we don't refer to satin coins as PL.

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One problem with using Morgan Dollars as a standard for prooflike mirror depth is that Morgans don't typically display the sometimes heavy die polish that Framklins, Roosevelts and the rest always have.

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The size and contour of the fields are what make it difficult to compare. The polished PL finish seen between 1934 and 1954 is unique, but the polishing lines disappear at certain angles and don't really affect the mirrors, unless of course the dies have advanced beyond the PL stages. In other words, it is the errosion of the surfaces over time, and not the polishing lines, that causes these coins to miss the PL designation. If the mirrors are no longer there, the coin is not PL.

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I fully agree that there is/are no standards for PL --- and that is the rather cynical point of my earlier comment.  :)

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I have an ICG MS67 buffalo nickel which is fully prooflike.  There is one die pair that has this complete proof like lustre to it and I suspect that these may have been specially prepared dies that were used to strike some really nice coins at the end of the 25 year run of the buffalo nickel.  Very few seem to show up and I have never run into any au or xf examples from these dies, meaning they did not appear to have been released into circulation.  Also the 1934-d and 1935-d on rare occasions also show up proof like. 

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20 minutes ago, t-arc said:

I have an ICG MS67 buffalo nickel which is fully prooflike.  There is one die pair that has this complete proof like lustre to it and I suspect that these may have been specially prepared dies that were used to strike some really nice coins at the end of the 25 year run of the buffalo nickel.  Very few seem to show up and I have never run into any au or xf examples from these dies, meaning they did not appear to have been released into circulation.  Also the 1934-d and 1935-d on rare occasions also show up proof like. 

Pics?

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besides the OPs pics, noone has posted any other PL buffs......their has to be some out there!!

t-arc, post pics please!

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4 hours ago, Mk123 said:

coinman, the buff you just posted, what grade was it? Looks amazing!

Thank you! This is currently in an older PCGS MS64 slab. It looks gem+ to me, and I am tempted to send it to NGC if it does not sell, to see if it earns a Star.

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On 9/13/2018 at 7:47 AM, physics-fan3.14 said:

There's an AU-58 PL on Ebay right now for $7800!!!!!!! 

That's ridiculous. 

I agree.  It is now listed with Park Avenue Numismatics.  If it sells for anywhere near that amount, I will wet my pants as it would provide pricing data that could only be helpful to me some day.  I think my MS63 PL coin has nicer mirrors.

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7 hours ago, coinman_23885 said:

I agree.  It is now listed with Park Avenue Numismatics.  If it sells for anywhere near that amount, I will wet my pants as it would provide pricing data that could only be helpful to me some day.  I think my MS63 PL coin has nicer mirrors.

coinman I looked at the NGC image of your coin which I think is a relatively good image close up. Its a superb coin for sure. IMO these prices are too high even given relative rarity. Consider that a few of these likely reside in PCGS holders owned by cultists that don't know any better. There may even be high grade coins that exist in those holders. How far off am I ?

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6 hours ago, numisport said:

coinman I looked at the NGC image of your coin which I think is a relatively good image close up. Its a superb coin for sure. IMO these prices are too high even given relative rarity. Consider that a few of these likely reside in PCGS holders owned by cultists that don't know any better. There may even be high grade coins that exist in those holderthe s. How far off am I ?

I agree there is a major problem in determining populations given that PCGS will not attribute PL buffalo nickels.  I have never seen a nickel in a PCGS holder close to mine, but with tens of thousands of coins certified, there is no way to say definitively.  As for auction records, there are none so the first person to sell one at a fixed price or who is brave enough to face a no reserve auction will ultimately set the market.  The price sounds very high especially for the grade to me, and my personal interest level in PL coinage is nowhere near that for any 20th century coin.  I think they are trying to extrapolate from other rare PL series (e.g. Peace Dollars), but it is unclear that a PL buffalo would fetch anywhere near what the PL Peace Dollars do even though the nickels are rarer in PL.

I hope they do sell it successfully for $7,500 but that would be a fantasy for me.  :grin:

Edited by coinman_23885

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12 hours ago, physics-fan3.14 said:

Well, they have a Peace Dollar in 65PL listed for $75,000..... which is also equally insane. 

Can you provide a link ? Who's selling it ? Is it prooflike enough for Roger.....

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I remember this coin from an earlier thread, thanks. Still way way way too much money but what the heck it is a Peace Dollar ! Some may think this is a tangible investment ;)

I think it would be interesting to hear Ms. Sperber comment as to why this Peace Dollar and the 37-D Buffalo Nickel are 'not marketable' in NGC holders.

Edited by numisport

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That P$ and mine are sister coins with sequential cert#s. In hand they are identical except for a mark going across mine's fields keeping it at 64. Roger did not feel they met his criteria, but did find the coins to be special and not regular. Given the listing price of the 65, I feel I got a bargain at 1/10th the price. Though I dont think the coin would get the 75k. Maybe in a PCGS holder where the kool aid adds value. But I also dont think the seller is motivated to sell it at a lower price. Beautiful coin. I got to see it at the Philadelphia show.

Edited by mumu

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Resurrecting and bringing us back to PL Buffs. I've got a 36 that I think might warrant a PL designation. Currently resides in a PC66 holder. I'll try to make a decent animated gif or something to better show the reflectivity than still pictures. 

I should add, I had a heck of a time getting decent photos of this coin. 

36obv.jpg

36rev.jpg

Edited by ChrisH821

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I have a couple of Buffs in pcgs holders  that look PL to me but pcgs doesn’t, as far as I know, designate PL to buffalo nickels.

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5 minutes ago, Buffalo Head said:

I have a couple of Buffs in pcgs holders  that look PL to me but pcgs doesn’t, as far as I know, designate PL to buffalo nickels.

Agree, I'd cross it just for the designation though. 

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3 hours ago, ChrisH821 said:

Agree, I'd cross it just for the designation though. 

Pretty good idea to cross it and way to go getting that designation.

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