US Coins

Market Analysis: High grade 1918/7-D 5-cent coin brings $99,875 in May sale

A key overdate 1918/7-D Indian Head 5-cent coin graded MS-64+ with a green CAC sticker brought $99,875. Legend observed, “A radiant, pearly, nickel-silver luster blooms in the light, enlightening the rose and pastel blue tones.”

Image courtesy of Legend Auctions

A 1918/7-D Indian Head 5-cent piece graded MS-64+ by Professional Coin Grading Service with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker was the second-highest lot  in Legend Rare Coin Auctions’ May 14 Regency Auction 38, realizing $99,875 on an estimate of $85,000 to $95,000. It trailed another 20th century rarity — a 1909-O Indian Head gold $5 half eagle graded MS-63 with a green CAC sticker that topped bidding at $114,562.50.

The overdate is a key to the series and only became widely known in the 1930s. By then many examples had seen more than a decade of circulation, so high-grade survivors like the offered coin are rare.

David Lange describes the variety’s production in his Complete Guide to Buffalo Nickels, writing, “In sinking a working die, two or more impressions had to be taken from a working hub. Between each impression, the developing die was taken to the furnace to be annealed, or softened, since the first impression caused the metal to become workhardened. It was then ready for another impression. Amid the haste to produce new dies, a working die that had already been impressed with a hub dated 1917 was then either inadvertently or intentionally given another impression from a hub dated 1918. The result was an overdate.”

The distinct 7 under the 8 remains clear on even low-grade coins.

Legend observed, “were it not for a single carbon fleck on the Indian’s neck, this coin would qualify as a full GEM.”

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