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1916 Doubled Die Nickel, AU55
Strongly Defined Throughout

1916 5C Doubled Die Obverse AU55 PCGS. CAC. FS-101. In his March 15, 2005 "Item of the Week" column for Numismatic News, Paul M. Green discussed the 1916 Doubled Die Obverse nickel (referred to in the column as the "1916/16" since the date is the location of the most prominent doubling). Two paragraphs encapsulate how the 1916 Doubled Die Obverse nickel, a Guide Book variety which went undiscovered for more than 50 years, was worn nearly into oblivion:

"With no one checking, the 1916 Buffalo nickel simply began to circulate. What must be remembered is that it was a 1916/16 [noting the prime focal point of the doubling] and that is critical, because as Buffalo nickels saw use in commerce, the very first part of the design that disappeared was the date.

"The evidence of that is overwhelming, as by the 1950s, it was possible to buy rolls of Buffalo nickels that had lost their dates. The rapid disappearance of all or part of a date is absolutely devastating when you are looking for a 1916/16, yet this is precisely what happened, meaning that no matter what the potential supply of 1916/16 nickels was, a large number were simply lost."

The fortunate collector who first discovered this piece, which circulated only briefly before being pulled out of the channels of commerce, found a miniature treasure. Nickel-gray and olive-gold surfaces show scant evidence of wear, and the strike is solid. Though a few wispy parallel marks are present on the portrait, these are not readily seen without magnification, and the coin displays attractively to the unaided eye. The all-important date is boldly doubled. For the variety, Population: 20 in 55, 10 finer (11/13).
Ex: FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2009), lot 3638.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 2TSS, PCGS# 3931)

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Auction Dates
January, 2014
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