Bowers and Merena - The November 2009 Baltimore Auction Lot #522


  • NGC
  • 67
  • CAC
  • N
Price Realized: $97,750.00
Description

1937-D Buffalo Nickel. FS-901 (FS-020.2). 3-Legged. MS-67 (NGC).

Ever since its production in the Denver Mint in 1937, the 3-Legged Nickel has been high on collectors' "Want Lists." We say "ever since" because this variety was discovered by numismatists shortly after the first examples left the Mint. In fact, David W. Lange (The Complete Guide to Buffalo Nickels, 2000 edition) dates the first publication of this variety to 1937-1938, when one C.L. "Cowboy" Franzen began offering examples for sale in The Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine.
Given the early discovery of this variety and the consequent attention from contemporary Americans, one might assume that the 1937-D 3-Legged Nickel has a fairly sizeable population in Mint State. This is true, but a number of other factors have conspired to make this a conditionally challenging issue. For one, most 3-Legged Nickels are softly struck on the reverse over the bison's shoulder and/or back, such pieces simply being too bluntly defined to grade any higher than MS-62. And perhaps even more importantly, many Mint State coins seem to have been held by non-collectors. The result is that many Mint State pieces have come down to the present day with subdued luster, significant abrasions or both.
You can imagine our delight, therefore, at being able to offer this remarkable, awe-inspiring Superb Gem--the single finest-certified example of the variety known to PCGS and NGC. Both sides possess lovely satin luster, the obverse particularly vibrant in sheen and also possessed of gorgeous champagne-pink and pale-gold iridescence. The reverse is also lightly toned in pinkish-silver tinting. The strike is exceptionally sharp and generally full, the highpoints of the bison being particularly impressive in this regard. With hardly a blemish in evidence, the surfaces are expectably smooth at the assigned grade. A one-of-a-kind example of this classic Mint error, and a coin that is sure to excite the specialized collector.