The Buffalo nickel was designed by James Earle Fraser, a student of the famous Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and is probably the most distinctively American design among the coinage of the United States. This was, in fact, the intention of Fraser who elected to use an American bison as the model for the reverse because he "…found no motif within the boundaries of the United States so distinctive as the American buffalo." Indeed, the reverse is so striking that it is this design that people most typically use when referring to the coin. Whether one chooses to use the more zoologically correct "bison" or the familiar term "buffalo," the fact remains that the Buffalo nickel is so uniquely American that even the non-collecting public is familiar with it through its extensive use as buttons or other accessories in western fashion. The obverse is an artist's composite of three Native Americans: Iron Tail, a Sioux; Two Moons, a Cheyenne; and the third was most probably Big Tree, a Kiowa.
The offered Gem 1927-D nickel is housed in an old green PCGS holder and graded MS-65. A CAC sticker confirms the excellent quality for the grade. Satin luster is seen throughout and there is pleasing light toning at the peripheries. There are no marks of any consequence and the overall eye appeal is quite strong. The 1927-D issue is one of the years where striking issues were problematic, as nearly all pieces suffer from a weak strike. Further complicating matters for collectors, most examples encountered today are heavily circulated. In fact, David Lange comments in his book The Complete Guide to Buffalo Nickels, 2000 that the issue is underrated in even EF and AU grades. In Gem grades and with a uniformly bold strike, as here, it is a scarce coin.
Such a piece will make a fitting foundation to a stellar set of Buffalo nickels, or a great addition to an already impressive herd. Either way, the winning bidder is going to be very pleased with this purchase.
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