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Gem 1937-D Three-Legged Buffalo Nickel
Bright Mint Luster, Subtly Toned

1937-D 5C Three-Legged MS65 PCGS. FS-901. The FS-901 Cherrypickers' Guide designation, if one reads the relevant reference closely, is reserved for a "reverse variety, miscellaneous," i.e. not a doubled die reverse, for example. In fact, the 1937-D Three-Legged Buffalo is a die state variety, one of the few that are actively collected as such, and certainly one of the few to ever make it into the Guide Book of United States Coins. Cherrypickers' authors Bill Fivaz and J.T. Stanton also assign the Three-Legged Buffalo a I-5 Interest rating, the highest. They say, "A variety with a very high Interest Factor is in high demand, with several thousands of collectors desiring it." So, even though the authors estimate that from 4,000 to 8,000 examples survive, there may be as many or more collectors than that desiring to acquire an example.
The 1937-D Three-Legged is, nonetheless, not the only die state example that the series' many fans collect: The various Two Feathers varieties are also in the same category of die states. The Cherrypickers' explanation under the 1913-D Type One, Two Feathers, first in the series, is the same: "The obverse die was heavily polished, probably to remove clash marks. The result was a die with the innermost feather missing, hence the nickname 'Two Feathers.' " The authors comment further, "Recently more Two Feathers varieties have been found, creating a search for more while increasing interest in Buffalo nickels with abraded dies." Even though the authors mention increased interest in abraded dies, they assign the many Two Feathers varieties Interest and Liquidity factors of 3, meaning that they are far less in-demand and more thinly traded than the 1937-D Three-Legged.
This is one of the few Gems available of this conditionally elusive variety. The mint luster is satiny and unusually bright. Each side displays subtle shadings of pale golden and lilac, and as one would expect from a Gem, there are no noticeable abrasions. Population: 51 in 65 (1 in 65+), 6 finer (5/12).(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 22SX, PCGS# 3982)

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Auction Dates
July, 2012
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 12
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