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: 1/17/2017

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 1175 1600 2275 2500 3250 4500 8350 33500 62500 120000 - - -
$ - - - - 1700 - - 3500 4900 10750 45850 85000 - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 6559
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 67


Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
6/11/2017 MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2017 June 8 - 11 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(2), 1256/Lot# 3580


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
9/17/2001 PCGS AU 55   Teletrade Auction 1483, 1483/Lot# 1141 $708.50
3/29/2004 NGC VF 25   Heritage Auctions 2004 March Portland, OR Bullet Sale #345, 345/Lot# 245 $506.00
4/6/2006 NGC MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2006 April Atlanta, GA (ANA) Signature Auction #402, 402/Lot# 324 $3,220.00
1/7/2009 NGC MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2009 January Orlando, FL FUN Auction #1121, 1121/Lot# 864 $2,530.00
9/4/2011 PCGS XF 40   Goldberg September 4-6, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Auction, 65/Lot# 887 $920.00
12/2/2012 PCGS G 4   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 728, 737/Lot# 11005 $450.00
12/13/2012 PCGS AU 55   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 20086/Lot# 1083 $1,170.00
12/22/2013 PCGS VF 25   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/22/2013, 106/Lot# 143291 $207.00
5/19/2014 NGC XF 40   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3482, 6031/Lot# 20104 $837.78


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1937 D 3 LEGS 5C MS
 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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