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1938 D/S Buffalo Nickel MS67 PCGS

1938 D/S Buffalo Nickel MS67 PCGS Obverse
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  • Title: 1938 D/S Buffalo Nickel MS67 PCGS
  • Metal: Silver

Full Description

In 1961, a minting error was revealed for some 1938 Buffalo Nickels. Several reverse dies were marked with the mintmark “S” for San Francisco. Later, it was determined that 1938 Buffalo Nickels would only be coined at the Denver Mint. Subsequently, those coins were over-punched with the Denver Mint Mark “D.” Obvious examples of these coins are certified as D/S Buffalo Nickels. This relatively rare 1938 D/S Buffalo Nickel has been graded by PCGS as MS67.


The front side of the coin shows James Earle Fraser’s portrait of a Native American. The final design was the culmination of Fraser’s sittings with several Native Americans who visited him while he was working on the design, including Two Moons, Iron Tail and Big Tree. Fraser said in later life that he had combined the features of all the individuals who sat for him to create a “type” rather than a direct portrait. Also on the obverse are the word Liberty, the year 1938, and Fraser’s initial “F.”


The reverse image is of an American Bison, commonly called an American Buffalo. Fraser said that he patterned the image after a bison named “Black Diamond,” which he saw and sketched in the New York Zoo. Below the bison are the words “Five Cents” and the mintmark. In this case, the mintmark is a “D” with the letter “S” showing through plainly from beneath it. Above the bison are the words “United States of America.”

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