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1938 D Buffalo Nickel MS66 PCGS

1938 D Buffalo Nickel MS66 PCGS Obverse
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  • Title: 1938 D Buffalo Nickel MS66 PCGS
  • Metal: Silver

Full Description

The Buffalo Nickel features a beautiful design created by sculptor James Earle Fraser. Also called the Indian Head Nickel, this coin was minted from 1913 to 1938. U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber originally designed a nickel featuring George Washington, but his design was abandoned when a new Mint Director took office, and Fraser’s design was used instead. Since 1938 was the final year of production, many collectors set these nickels aside while still in mint condition. The U.S. Mint made several adjustments to the design, but failed to correct the coin’s tendency to wear. The Buffalo Nickel offered here was minted at Denver and is in MS66 condition as certified by PCGS.


The front of the coin features a Native American, which Fraser said was a ‘type’ rather than a portrait and was modeled after several Native Americans. While Fraser variously identified different Indians as the models, he did issue a statement saying the models were Iron Tail, Two Moons and Big Tree. Also on the obverse is the word ‘Liberty’ and the date.


The reverse of the coin depicts an American bison, often referred to as a buffalo. Fraser said the model for this buffalo was a large bison named Black Diamond that resided in the Bronx Zoo. The buffalo stands on a mound of dirt with his shaggy head lowered. Above is ‘United States of America,’ ‘E Pluribus Unum,’ the denomination of Five Cent, and the mintmark D.

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