Description and Analysis
Buffalo Five Cents
1918/7 D 5C MS
Description & Analysis
The creation of a working die for the coin press required that the awaiting die be impressed at least twice from a working hub, with the die being annealed (softened) between impressions. On this obverse die two hubs bearing different dates were used, and it's presumed that the 1918 hubbing came last, as this date is more deeply impressed into the die. The die was then shipped to the Denver Mint, where it was used for an unknown number of overdated nickels.
This is by far the most desirable variety in the Buffalo Nickel series, though certainly not the most rare. The first recorded sale was an auction appearance in 1930, and the variety may have been unknown before that time. This would certainly explain the rarity of Mint State pieces, as the window for saving these had long been closed.
Mint State survivors are rare, gems being extremely so. Most share the usual problems of poor striking and worn dies associated with 1918 D nickels in general. As this particular obverse die wore, it developed a die crack extending from the Indian's hair just above the knot and onto his cheek.
Circulated examples are not truly rare, but thousands were likely rendered dateless through wear. Some of these have been recovered through the application of an acid that leaves the affected area etched but the date barely readable. Such coins have value, but they are not numerically gradeable.