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Gem 1937-D Three-Legged Nickel
Beautiful Satiny Surfaces

1937-D 5C Three-Legged MS65 PCGS CAC. FS-901. The old saying goes, "Buy the keys first." And by any reasonable definition, the 1937-D Three-Legged Buffalo is a key to the series. Undeterred by its status as a curious die-polishing error, legions of Buffalo nickels collectors pursue it with peculiar avidity. Even though there are ample supplies of the Three-Legged in most conceivable grades, there are far more collectors willing to snatch up those coins at auction.
In fact, we have noticed a trend where high-grade pieces seem to be the subject of increasing demand as compared to lower-grade examples; it is almost as if many collectors were determined to "get the nicest specimen I can afford before the price goes up." The price of an MS64 example certified by PCGS has just about tripled in the last 15 years, from around $4,500 to $11,500 or so. In the last 10 years, we have seen the price of a Gem PCGS coin increase from around $20,000 to $35,000. And for the infrequently traded MS66 PCGS examples, the earliest auction record we can find is lot 5906 in our 1995 ANA Sale (Heritage, 8/1995), which brought $20,900. The most recent MS66 PCGS we offered brought $54,625, lot 3995 in our Summer FUN Signature (Heritage, 7/2012), an increase of 161% during that time.
Of course, the past does not predict the future, but the popularity of high-grade Mint State Three-Leggers shows no sign of waning. This lovely Gem example displays glowing, satiny mint luster uninterrupted by the often-seen abrasions this issue is so well-known for. Pale reddish-golden toning covers each side. Population: 51 in 65 (2 in 65+), 6 finer (11/12).
From The Richard P. Ariagno, M.D. Collection.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 22SX, PCGS# 3982)

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Auction Dates
January, 2013
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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