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1913-S Buffalo Type 2 Error - Doubled Profile

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Valued Member
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 Posted 10/26/2019  4:10 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Morganator to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I recently acquired this 13-S Type 2 Buffalo from a friend and tried to look it up, but have been unsuccessful in finding an "S" with errors like this one. Note the profile doubling and the possible word "Liberty" under the chin. There is also some wording going down the neck.
Can anyone give me some idea of value on this coin? It appears as EF or better (full horn).


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 Posted 10/26/2019  4:31 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add moxking to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Could you provide photos of the reverse?
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 Posted 10/26/2019  4:38 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very cool.
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 Posted 10/26/2019  5:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fioti to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Not sure about the doubling, but that's a decent clash.. The bit by eye level is the bison's rear leg.


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 Posted 10/26/2019  5:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Morganator to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Here you go. My friend also pointed out that he saw something related to UNUM, there looks like some metal movement, but I really don't see much there. ?

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 Posted 10/26/2019  5:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Morganator to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What grade would this be in the opinion of the forum members (your opinion)?
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 Posted 10/26/2019  5:31 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add moxking to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
AU-50. Eye Appeal 6/10. Coolness factor 10/10!
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 Posted 10/26/2019  5:32 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Morganator to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Here is a better pic of that area.

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 Posted 10/26/2019  6:53 pm  Show Profile   Check GrapeCollects's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GrapeCollects to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's called a die clash
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 Posted 10/27/2019  8:36 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Morganator to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have looked around for values and it looks like an AU vs. an AU die clash coin sell for similar prices. I would think that this coin WITH a die clash might be more valuable, but so far I have not been able to find much info. Are any coin dealers or people knowledgeable out there that might be able to give me some insight on the value of this coin, assuming it would be graded as AU?
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 Posted 10/27/2019  10:44 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fortcollins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Die clashes are extremely common in the Buffalo series. There are several clash marks that are seen commonly:
The "comb" beneath the chin is actually EPU, and the heavy line through EPU is the bottom of the chin. This is the most common clash mark, and is found on many of the coins from virtually every date and mint.
A "spike" from the buffalo's head is the clash with the second feather. This, too, is very common.
Overpolished dies (to remove evidence of clash marks) is also common. That is why some dates have "two feather" or 3 1/2 or 3 leg varieties.

The profile doubling is just Machine Doubling. It isn't a double die. Machine Doubling is common in the series.

Several things about the Buffalo series explain the issues. The Denver and San Francisco mints only had one year of nickel production before the Buffalo series, the 1912 Liberty nickel, and that was a much simpler design. (They didn't have much more experience with one cent coins, either.) They were inexperienced with the minting of the subsidiary coins, including the striking pressure needed to bring up the design while minimizing die wear when striking on hard metal. Some of the branch mint dates are almost always poorly struck. The cluttered design contributed to striking difficulty, as well as creating the multiple clash marks when the dies clashed. Replacement of one die at a time generated badly mismatched die states on many coins. Frequent obverse design changes were needed to reduce loss of detail from circulation. The excessive wear on FIVE CENTS necessitated the immediate reverse redesign in mid-1913. They never solved the excessive wear on the date. Collectors miss the Buff, but the mints were glad to see the design go in 1938.
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 Posted 10/27/2019  11:09 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fortcollins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In terms of grade for your coin, it is important to separate strike weakness from wear.

Your coin has a typically soft strike for an early San Francisco Buff. On the obverse, notice the loss of detail on the eye, nostril, lips, tips of the first and second feathers, and left ribbon. LIBERTY is weak, but that was a design flaw on 1913-14-15 Buffs, and led to a redesign in 1916 to strengthen LIBERTY. As a result, the strength or weakness of LIBERTY generally is not used for grading the 1913-14-15 Buffs. On the reverse, there is strike weakness on the hair on the head and hump, the beard, front shoulder, and right rear leg. Peripheral lettering is weak on the reverse, especially toward the rim, another indication of weak metal flow from a soft strike. In addition, your coin's dies are slightly mismatched, with what appears to be a middle die state obverse and early middle die state reverse.

Adjusting for strike weakness, the obverse of your coin shows moderate wear on the eyebrow, hair at the cheekbone, and central braid. The reverse shows moderate wear on the shoulder, head, flank, and tail.

By appearance, your coin would be EF-40 obverse/EF-45 reverse, but much of that appearance is due to strike weakness and die state. When the strike is taken into consideration, your coin most likely would grade AU-50.

EDIT: The die clashes are interesting, but do not add to value. (Some people want unclashed coins to showcase the design.) The 1913-S Type 2 is a very tough date. In terms of value, you are somewhere in the mid-$400s. The market is a bit soft right now, and I'm seeing raw Buffs go slightly below Greysheet on bourse floors this year.
Edited by fortcollins
10/27/2019 11:14 pm
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 Posted 10/27/2019  11:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Morganator to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for your excellent explanation. While it is not what I wanted to hear, at least this gives me some idea.
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 Posted 10/28/2019  08:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The problem with any value of any coin is usually popularity. With Indian Head Nickels, such minor errors are so common and not a thing of popularity, so the value is just not there. Meaning you first have to find an error collector and then one that deals in those type of Nickels. Actually that coins value is better by the date and mint than as an error.
just carl
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 Posted 10/28/2019  11:49 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Morganator to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Crazy how that works.
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 Posted 10/28/2019  7:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ArrowsAndRays to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very cool example of coin minting history, very well explained above.
I'd keep it!
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