Coin Specifications

Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913-1938)
Mint: Denver
Obverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
Reverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 5.0000g
Diameter: 21.2mm
Edge: Plain
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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: 8/30/2019

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

1937 D 3 LEGS 5C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 490 535 585 675 875 975 1100 1180 1600 2275 2500 3250 4500 8350 33500 62500 120000 - - -
$ - - - - 1700 - - 3500 4900 10750 42500 85000 - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 6933
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 67

The chart showing PrAg series, G series, VG series, F series, VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series, 66 series, 67 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 10/8/2019 1937 D 3 LEGS 5C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base12477259115636457723734884313421446063129722756182---6933
-------------111-21---6
--------1---137123-----27
-----------------------
Total12477259115636457723734984313421446163530524059203---6966
 0 %0 %1 %4 %17 %5 %8 %3 %5 %12 %19 %0 %7 %9 %4 %3 %1 %0 %0 %--- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
11/17/1997 NGC MS 61   Teletrade Auction 0998, 998/Lot# 1171 $1,134.00
9/17/2003 NGC MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2003 September Long Beach Signature Sale #330, 330/Lot# 6240 $29,900.00
7/5/2006 NGC AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2006 July Dallas, TX Coin Signature Auction #407, 407/Lot# 503 $1,840.00
4/9/2007 NGC AU 55   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 134, 139/Lot# 139 $1,610.00
1/31/2010 NGC AU 58   Goldberg January 31 - February 3, 2010 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 57/Lot# 926 $1,840.00
9/13/2011 NGC VF 20   Stack's Bowers The September 2011 Philadelphia Americana Sale, 113/Lot# 2607 $575.00
7/12/2012 NGC XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2012 July 12-15 US Coin Summer FUN Signature Auction - Orlando Session(4), 1172/Lot# 7775 $747.50
7/12/2012 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Heritage Auctions 2012 July 12-15 US Coin Summer FUN Signature Auction - Orlando Session(4), 1172/Lot# 7773 $402.50
12/13/2012 NGC AU 55   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 20086/Lot# 1084 $1,170.00
1/19/2014 PCGS AU 50   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 01/19/2014, 185/Lot# 143280 $852.50


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1937 D 5C MS 3 LEGS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base2853604535638209081047117313361435157316581799204826143349565672587756114832970848352
310391489648849954108912271369148116011705188222362859411861907424899817558359220
00000010891227136914811601170518822236285941186190742489981755800
000000113112811402152716291752196524253104488767247590102402363300
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 63
Points: 3968
Owner: MarkPaul
 
Grade: MS 61
Points: 2807
Owner: johnoj
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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