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Rare Money Blog

rare 1969 denver mint jefferson nickel stacks bowers galleries

The Only Full Steps 1969-D Nickel Featured in our August 2021 ANA Auction

By James McCartney, Director of Consignments and Numismatics

Author: James McCartney / Thursday, July 22, 2021 / Categories: United States Coin of the Week

While the earliest days of the U.S. Mint boast the greatest density of true rarities, even the modern era has its fair share of exciting treasures to encourage collectors adventurous enough to cherrypick. Though mintage figures confirm that no Jefferson nickel is rare in an absolute sense, populations dwindle to single digits when preservation and strike are considered. The master hub of the Reverse of 1940 had been in use for three decades before it was retired in 1970, and overall quality had been progressively waning during this period. This combined with inconsistent overall minting quality causes Jefferson nickels of the 1960s to be considerable strike rarities. The 1969-D is among the most elusive.

We are thrilled to feature the sole Full Step 1969-D nickel in lot 2171 of our Official Auction for the ANA World's Fair of Money, offered as part of the George “Buddy” Byers  Buckeye Collection. The Byers Collection holds leading rankings in numerous Jefferson nickel categories on the PCGS Set Registry, including #2 All-Time Finest in the category Jefferson Nickels FS with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes.

Graded MS-65 FS (PCGS), the 1969-D from the Byers Collection is the only example of the issue recognized as having Full Steps by either PCGS or NGC, placing it in a class all of its own for Set Registry enthusiasts. This incredible 20th century rarity is brilliant platinum-white with pearlescent luster on both sides. A thin wire rim traces the circumference in some areas, enclosing sharp legends and boldly pronounced centers that mimic the striking characteristics of a Special Mint Set issue of the era. Monticello's steps are nicely delineated, entirely unobscured by abrasions and exhibiting just the faintest softness at the lower right region.

This MS-65 FS (PCGS) nickel will be offered in lot 2171 of our Official Auction for the ANA World's Fair of Money this August, accompanying a vast selection of world-class rarities including the finest known 1804 dollar, a newly discovered 1794 dollar, an original 1827/3 quarter, a Mint State 1796 Stars quarter eagle, and many other treasures.  The sale is available on our website www.StacksBowers.com for viewing and bidding, featuring high-resolution images, Coins In Motion animations and our user-friendly bidding platform. The Live portions of the August sale will be held from August 16th through the 21st and broadcast in high definition across a number of platforms including their website, Facebook and YouTube. The Internet-Only sessions will take place the next week, August 23rd through 25th. For questions about bidding or to request an in-hand inspection from one of our specialists, please contact our auction services department at 800-458-4646 or e-mail [email protected].​

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