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: 5.0000g
Diameter: 21.2mm
Edge: Plain
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

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: 9/9/2015

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

1937 D 3 LEGS 5C MS
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ 520 600 690 775 1000 1150 1250 1375 1700 2500 3350 5500 9500 36000 67250 130000 - - -
$ - - - - 2000 - 3650 6500 12500 46000 - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 6384
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 67


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
1/8/1997 NGC AU 55   Teletrade Auction 0909, 909/Lot# 1133 $517.75
9/6/2004 PCGS XF 40   Goldberg September 6-7, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 26/Lot# 581 $805.00
2/28/2012 NGC MS 62   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 1901 $2,185.00
4/22/2012 NGC AU 58   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131218/Lot# 23496 $1,322.50
7/26/2012 NGC MS 65   Stack's Bowers The August 2012 Philadelphia ANA World's Fair of Money Auction, 140/Lot# 11277 $23,000.00
12/13/2012 NGC AU 55   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 20086/Lot# 1084 $1,170.00
11/3/2013 NGC AU 58   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131346/Lot# 24050 $1,351.25
6/29/2014 PCGS XF 40   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/29/2014, 187/Lot# 173261 $824.00
8/17/2014 PCGS AU 55   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 817, 826/Lot# 1091 $2,000.00


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
 
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