'Double-dating' Buffalo nickel stampedes ahead at California


2015-06-26 12:00:17


'Double-dating' Buffalo nickel stampedes ahead at California

The gem condition 1918/7-D coin will head Heritage's sale next month

During 1917-8, a shortage of minor coins towards the end of WWI led to a mass minting of some varieties.

The record minting in 1917 probably led to the existence of a rarity which eagle-eyed numismatists will spot immediately - though it is hardly obvious to the layman's eye: the 1917 Doubled Die Obverse Lincoln cent, FS-101.

Buffalo Cent 1918/7-D ObverseBuffalo Cent 1918/7-D Obverse

The rare coin is the result of two hubs imprinting the date onto a certain die minting the coins towards the end of 1917. The result is a '1918' with a flattened head, as the result of having a 1917 dashed into the same spot.

As the error is a subtle one, it was not noticed for at least a decade, and first appeared at auction in 1931. As a result, few of the coins resulting from the double-hub strike were recognised as valuable at an early stage, and therefore they tend to be found in mediocre condition.

Buffalo Cent 1918/7-D ReverseBuffalo Cent 1918/7-D Reverse

The example offered in Heritage's sale, however, does not fall into that category at all. Rated MS-65 by the NGC, the coin is a true gem with the detail sharp on both sides including the all important date area, with only a little softening of the buffalo's shoulder.

Hailing from the Brenda John collection, the piece already carries a bid of $32,500 just a couple of days into the internet section of the sale. It would make a great centrepiece for a collection of buffalo cents, and will be taken home following the live sale on June 3 at Longbeach California.

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