Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    1937-D Three-Legged Buffalo Nickel

    Popular Guide Book Variety
    Tied for Finest at PCGS

    1937-D 5C Three-Legged, FS-901, MS66+ PCGS. The 1937-D Three-Legged Buffalo nickel is an extremely popular Guide Book and Cherrypickers variety that was caused by excessive die polishing to remove clash marks on a worn reverse die in 1937. Walter Breen reported it was a Mr. Young who applied an emery stick to the die in an effort to efface the clash marks and inadvertently also removed the bison's right foreleg, which was engraved in low relief. This die-polishing error was discovered within a few months of its issue, as C.L. Franzen was advertising them for sale in the Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine in 1937-1938.

    Early distribution of these coins was in Montana, an area with few coin collectors. Coin dealer Aubrey Bebee reports finding several dozen examples in $50 bank bags in Bozeman, Montana on a trip through the region in 1939. Most examples retrieved in the 1930s through the 1950s were in the VF-XF grade range and Mint State coins were rare. In recent times a larger number of Mint State pieces have come on the market, suggesting there may have been several rolls of Uncirculated examples that were quietly released in later years.

    The issue is still a prime condition rarity at the MS66 grade level and this Plus-graded Premium Gem is tied with two other coins for finest certified at PCGS (11/19). The design elements are sharply detailed, aside from the slightest touch of softness on the bison's shoulder and the incomplete detail in the polished area. Although the foreleg is gone, the hoof remains plainly visible. The well-preserved surfaces radiate vibrant mint luster, under shades of greenish-gold and ice-blue toning. Eye appeal is outstanding. This coin is pictured on PCGS CoinFacts. Population: 14 in 66 (3 in 66+), 0 finer (11/19). (NGC ID# 22SX, Variety PCGS# 38475, Base PCGS# 3982)

    Weight: 5.00 grams

    Metal: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2020
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 730

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 15 days left to consign to the 2020 June 4 - 8 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thank you so much for your yeoman effort to showcase the Julius Reiver collection to its greatest advantage.
    Betsy Reiver DeMarino, V.M.D. ,
    Unionville, PA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search