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1919-D Buffalo Nickel is One Tough Coin

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    Posted: 28 May 2006 at 11:28pm
1919-D Buffalo Nickel is One Tough Coin

by Peter J. Miksich, Jr., a Buffalo Nickel Devotee

The 1919-D Buff is one tough coin! It is extremely difficult to find any of them in top-shape collectable condition (VF- and up) today.

A study of Mints, and rarities (condition-wise) in the 20th Century annals of coinage point to 1919 at Denver as being a real stopper for quality, fully struck, coinage in almost all denominations.

One need only to look at the 1919-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar, and you will quickly discover the merits of this thread.

Yes, you can get them  -- anywhere, anytime -- but if you want decent, nicely struck, higher grade examples the price jumps to the stratosphere!

The same is true with the humble 5-Cent Denver coin of that date and Mint.

I have said -- and I do still believe -- that 1927-D is the sleeper. Everyone looks past that date to purchase earlier Buffs in decent grades. But I also believe that hands down, 1919-D is much more difficult to find as a decent specimen to your Buff set.

Here are the deficiencies to 1919-D:

1) Poorly struck from overworked and overused dies.

2) Terrible high-point definition on, and including, Mint-state examples.

3) Hardly ever, if never seen with a fully detailed top feather. The bottom one also fades near the tip.

4) Most, but not all, still most have bad definition, including flatness, to the head of the Buff.

5) Peripheral elements, around and near the rim are ill-defined.

6) A general, hard to describe softness to the whole coin. (1919-P also has this malady)

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coin values Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2006 at 8:29am
Hello Peter:
 
I've done a fair amount of research on Buffalo nickel value trends.  Since 1995, the semi-key 1919-D has averaged annual increases of 4.62% in grades VF or better.  Since the year 2000, the same coin has seen an annual average increase of 6.78%.  These are respectable numbers, especially when compared to the Buffalo nickel series in its entirety.
 
The growth rate for an obvious key date, the 1918-D 8 over 7 variety, is steeper.  Since 1995, in grades VF or better, this rarity has averaged increasing 7.23% a year, and since the year 2000, 10.91%.
 
For the sake of comparison, the 1917-D, arguably a semi-key roughly on the same magnitude as the 1919-D, has increased by percentages of 4.99% and 7.91%, respectively, for specimens grading VF and higher.
 
So my take on the 1919-D is that it could be a sleeper coin.  According to your research, Peter, the coin is a toughie to find in the higher grades, but the coin hasn't risen in value accordingly.  If more numismatists discover the same thing you have, we could see the 1919-D pick up the pace in value increases in the years ahead.
 
Only time will tell.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BECOKA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2006 at 2:59am
This is all good information. Because of all the issues surrounding the 1919-D most collectors have probably resolved themselves to just obtaining the date in any condition. i.e. Most people figure there may not be any prime examples in any grade to be had.

This may be one reason the prices have remained relatively stable.

Now as a whole I think there are a couple of series that are severely undervalued comparted to the rest of the coin market and Buffalo Nickels is one of them.

It may be an opportune time to start collecting this beutiful series.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mac266 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Aug 2008 at 7:17am
Yup, the one currently filling the void in my collection is a G-4 at best....always looking to upgrade though.
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