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1917-D Buffalo 3 1/2 Leg FS-901 Grading Experiment!

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 Posted 09/30/2021  1:47 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Ty2020b to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Thought this would be the perfect example to try a little experiment. When grading its important to look at the entire coin, not just one feature. There are a number of series that were known to have striking and die issues, making them tough to grade! The Buffalo nickel is no exception. All too often people go right to the horn as the basis of their grade. While this is sometimes a great indicator of the grade, ALL the devices must be taken into account. Knowledge of that year and mints issues are key. Recognizing die state and striking issues help in understanding what this coin looked like when it left the mint, and what it will look like after X amount of wear.

I have eliminated the horn so that the focus can be on the remainder of the coin. Lets see how much this bothers some!! Curious what the group consensus will be. I have my opinions, but Ill save those until later.

Will give this 24 hrs, then I will post the complete reverse picture.

Cherrypicked this one for my album as I recently decided to attack all the 3 1/2 leg varieties as well.

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 Posted 09/30/2021  1:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
VF25?
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
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 Posted 09/30/2021  2:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'll say EF-45.
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 Posted 09/30/2021  2:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nfine to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm in at VF-35
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 Posted 09/30/2021  2:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ty2020b to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Couple shots of die markers. Gouge on the back, also die deterioration of the hind legs. This one isn't as late die state as some. Some that show excessive Die Deterioration have a more extreme appearance to the rear leg, like the 37-D 3 leg. Front "1/2" leg also shows further die polished. Another indicator is this one is just starting to exhibit the die crack from the tail to the rim. Not noticeable in the pics and couldn't really capture it in the images. Crack is much more apparent in later examples.


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 Posted 09/30/2021  2:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add dave700x to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'll venture a guess that this one is AU50ish and yeah, a bison with a shower cap does bug me a bit....
1883-O Nut
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 Posted 09/30/2021  3:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Slider23 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
40/45 The does not have a enough luster for me to be in the AU range.
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 Posted 09/30/2021  3:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Jerry Picker to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
VF35
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 Posted 09/30/2021  3:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CoinHunter4 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
XF-45?
Elliot Mitchell
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 Posted 09/30/2021  4:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ijn1944 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Weak XF40 rings my bell.
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 Posted 09/30/2021  8:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fortcollins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I know what lurks under the buff size ski hat, so I'll hold my opinion here. It's a great coin for this exercise.

Just a few thoughts to ponder:
The Denver Mint had some wire-brush-happy press operators in this era. All abraded die varieties have in common the loss of detail on the coins because of abrasion. This is not wear, and should not factor into grading.
The leg isn't the only part of this coin that has been heavily abraded. Think in terms of typical clash areas, plus an overly enthusiastic abrasion of areas that are not normally associated with die clashes. In other words, they abraded the living tar out of this defenseless reverse die.
Despite what they did to the die pair, the strike is sharp. Notice the EDS obverse with a full rachis and calamus on the second feather, nearly full rachis on the first feather, complete ribbons, sharp date and LIBERTY. On the mismatched LMDS reverse, notice the sharp lettering, sharp mint mark, and sharp detail on the buffalo's neck.
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 Posted 09/30/2021  8:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Just can't see this above 45.
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 Posted 09/30/2021  9:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add mrwhatisit to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'll take a guess at VF-35 eye grade, but yeah, weak strikes can up the grade some if one can actually distinguish wear from weak strikes. I admit, I too go for the horn often when I spot grade buffalos, but it is very interesting when an example of a very incomplete horn exists on a Buffalo nickel with mint luster grading AU-55...
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 Posted 10/01/2021  10:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NumisEd to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I say VF35-XF40. Though coin for me.
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 Posted 10/01/2021  11:01 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add panzaldi to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
XF45
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 Posted 10/01/2021  11:03 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Gotta say, not seeing the horn is really throwing me off given it is such a large component of how I grade members of the great herd.
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