US Coins

High grade Buffalo nickels top September sale

A number of high-grade Indian Head 5-cent coins, including 1918/7-D and 1937-D Three-Legged coins, highlight the 1,686-lot sale of United States coins Sept. 13 and 14 by Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles.

Also included among the lots is what appears to be a discovery communion token from Albany, N.Y., and a low-grade example of the highly sought after Starred Reverse variety of 1794 Liberty Cap cent.

Stellar overdate

The 1918/7-D Indian Head 5-cent coin is graded Mint State 64+ by Professional Coin Grading Service and stickered by Certified Acceptance Corp. with a green label.

The overdate was created during the process of manufacturing the dies. The die that produced the 1918/7-D coin was created during a die shortage, when a 1917 working die was impressed with a hub dated 1918.

The coin offered in the Sept. 13 and 14 sale carries a pre-sale estimate of $125,000 or more.

Who needs a fourth leg

PCGS grades the sale's 1937-D Indian Head, Three-Legged 5-cent coin as MS-66. The coin hold also bears a CAC green label.

The variety was created by a Denver Mint employee trying to remove clash marks from a production die. During production, an obverse and reverse die struck one another without a planchet being fed between. This clashing of the dies transferred part of the obverse design into elements of the reverse.

To remove the clash marks, a Mint press operator used an emery stick to file down the raised design details from the reverse. The exercise resulted in not only loss of the bison's right front leg, but also weakening of some surrounding details. The die was put back into production without anyone realizing the loss of details. The variety has been sought after by collectors ever since.

The example in the Goldbergs' sale carries a pre-sale estimate of $50,000 and up.

Discovery piece?

The Albany, N.Y., communion token in the sale, according to the lot description, resembles a pewter communion token from Schenectady, N.Y., cataloged as New York 113 in author Autence A. Bason's 1989 reference, Communion Tokens of the United States of America.

The Albany token is unlisted in the Bason reference. The auction lot description does not indicate the metallic composition of the Albany piece.

The Albany token is graded About Good, and holed through the lower left of the token's obverse through to the reverse.

The token has a pre-sale estimate of $4,500 and up.

Communion tokens are closely associated with Presbyterianism as a symbol of identification and protection of church privileges.

Starred Reverse

The Starred Reverse variety of 1794 Liberty Cap cent, Sheldon 48 (as cataloged in William H. Sheldon's Penny Whimsy), earns its varietal nickname from the 94 tiny stars positioned slightly into the field between the denticles.

The example offered is listed with a Very Good 7 grade and identified with patches of granular and porous surfaces. Despite its low grade, the variety is highly sought after by large cent collectors as a whole, and particularly by aficionados of 1794 large cents.

The example offered carries a pre-sale estimate of $15,000 and up.

For more information on the sale, visit the Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles website.


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