Thank you for dropping by! This site is dedicated to providing information about Buffalo nickel varieties. It focuses on the “Lesser Known” varieties included in PCGS’s Buffalo Nickels Complete Varieties Set. Some background pages are accessible from the menu bar at the top of the page. They provide information about how Buffalo nickel varieties are created and some suggestions about how to search for them on the Web. The heart of the site is set up as a blog so that it is easy to update and provides an interactive format for others to contribute. My posts to the blog will use the coins in my PCGS Registry set and others to provide images and descriptions of each individual variety as time allows.

In each post of a variety, there will be an image of both the full obverse and full reverse of the coin. Next there will be an image of the area of the variety’s primary feature or features and typically the same image augmented by highlighting the feature. By comparing the two images it should be easier to see the specifics of this particular variety.

For some varieties, “clue” images and comments will come after these variety images. The clue images include features of the specific variety coin that seem to co-occur with the variety but are not part of the variety per se. For example, since  there is a die crack from the Buffalo’s tail to the rim on many examples of the 1918 Double Die Reverse (DDR), then the presence of a die crack in that location is a clue that the coin might be the DDR. It is a clue because it is not part of the variety – it was not made a feature of the die by a mint employee. Likely there are examples of the variety that exist without the clue or coins with the clue but that are not the variety. This is the case for the 1918 DDR. The presence of the clue does not guarantee the coin is the indicated variety, just as its absence does not guarantee it is not. The presence of the clue just increases the probability the coin is of the sought variety.

I hope this concrete and visual information about each variety will encourage you to seek out the varieties, and will make it easier for you to find the ones you want.

From time to time I also will make a more typical blog post – random comments on my coin related activities. Perhaps I found a new variety. Or I felt like describing a special coin. Or I just heard back from PCGS. These comments will run the gamut, but I will try not to let them get to far off the wall.

You also are invited to post. By registering you can Comment on any post. Obviously, keep your comments on topic. It would be very helpful if you could examine your varieties and Comment if your varieties have the same or different features and clues as I describe. Whether the same or different, this would allow us to grow the body of information.

If you would like to start a new post, perhaps some aspects of a coin you recently found, please send me an email (coins@coolkarma.com) and I’ll set you up appropriately. Tell us about what you have!

This site will always be a work in progress and with your help will always be getting better. In talking with some of you I already have some more ideas to implement. I greatly appreciate your thoughts and ideas and will attempt to incorporate them into the format and content of the site in a way that allows you to contribute most easily and valuably.  Enjoy!

CAC Take 2

I decided it was time to submit some more coins to CAC. I am going to sell a few in (or around) January FUN and thought a few green stickers might help. For three varieties I had two instances in the same grade. I had decided which I liked better and thought I’d like to see if CAC agreed with me. I submitted a total of 12 coins, seven buffalo nickels and five walking liberty halves.

I sent this submission to CAC on October 17. They received the package on October 21. They posted the results on October 31 (not quite as fast as my first submission) and I received the coins back on November 7. Still a very fast turn around time. Half the time is spent in transit.

Nine of the 12 coins received green stickers, which is better than my first submission. The Buffalo Nickels were:

  • 1913 Type II, DDO, FS-1101, Pop 1/1, PCGS AU58 CAC
  • 1917-D, 3 HL, FS-901, Pop 5/4, PCGS AU58 CAC
  • 1935-S PCGS MS64 CAC
  • 1936-D/D, RPM, FS-502, Pop 15/10, PCGS MS65 CAC
  • 1936-D/D, RPM, FS-502, Pop 15/10, PCGS MS65 CAC

I had submitted the 1935-S because I think it is beautiful and thought they might give it a gold sticker. They didn’t, but I’m keeping it anyway. The two buffaloes that did not sticker were both 1936-D/S, OMM, FS-511, Pop 5/0, PCGS MS65. I had considered one better than the other and thought it might sticker. However, given the nature of the variety (which seems to exist only with a weak reverse strike in the area of the Buffalo’s head and FIVE CENTS) none may be PQ at the MS65 level. In any case, I still know which one I’m keeping.

The 1917-D 3HL and one 1936-D/S were purchased in PCGS holders so I do not know when they were graded. Except for the 1935-S, the others were graded within the past year.

Walking Liberty Halves

  • 1940 PCGS PR65 CAC
  • 1944-D, Hand Engraved Initials, FS-901, Pop 23/4, PCGS MS66 CAC
  • 1945, Missing Designer’s Initials, FS-901, Pop 2/0, PCGS MS64 CAC
  • 1945, Missing Designer’s Initials, FS-901, Pop 2/0, PCGS MS64 CAC

CAC stickered both of the 1945 MDI halves so again they made no distinction – both were PQ. The one half that did not sticker was a PR 65 in an old green holder. It has some faint, light brownish spots in the obverse field which apparently were a bit too much for it to receive a sticker.

Some improvement in my selection process. Hopefully some improvement in their value to others. Now to send some off to Heritage :)



1913 type 1

1936-D MS-64 STAR

1924 No F

1924 buff 007

Click on an image to view a much larger version.








Here’s a 1924 no F variety and a nice one….If the images load…

No F Abraded Die Variety

James E. Fraser designed the Buffalo nickel and his initial appears as an incused F beneath the date on the obverse of the coin in his honor. In the No F Abraded Die Variety (ADV) the incused F is missing. A missing F equals No F, the popular name for this variety. This variety is one example of the more general Missing Designer’s Initials variety found on other coins besides the buffalo nickel (e.g., Walking Liberty Half Dollars). However, in the buffalo nickel world, this abraded die variety is known affectionately as the No F variety.

As with other ADVs, […]

So are these “No Fs” or not?


At what point do you guys consider a Buffalo to be a No Designer Initial variety? I’ve found some that have absolutely no trace of the F, and others, including a couple of these, that have what appears to be a void, a scratch or maybe just the hint of part of the letter. Where do you draw the line? Click on photos for larger image.

One of the dates I’ve found that exhibits either no trace of the designer initial, or like this one, what appears […]

Break over

I guess I needed a break from taking pictures and writing about varieties after posting about each of the PCGS/CPG Two Feather varieties. Or perhaps it was just the glow of finding the 1916 ddo. Whatever, it is time to get back on task. I’ve reclaimed the camera so I’ll get back to work

First I’ll give a preview of one post I’m working on. I placed another order with PCGS, including my 1916 DDO. Somewhat to my surprise, they graded it! It is now in a PCGS G06 holder It’s interesting how before I submit a coin, I […]

What next for PCGS registry set?

A few months ago, PCGS attributed a 1926-d Three and a Half Legged buffalo nickel for the first time. More recently it was added to the coins required for the Buffalo Nickel Complete Variety registry set. One wonders how they decided to attribute the 1926-d 3hl since there are lots of other varieties they might have chosen. Leaving that issue aside, which varieties would you like to see PCGS attribute and add to their Buffalo Nickel Complete Variety set? The CherryPicker’s Guide, Fourth Edition, Volume II, includes “Fivaz/Stanton Number Cross-Reference Chart” as Appendix K. It lists the new and old […]

1919 Two Feathers


1919 Two Feathers FS-401 38448

I purchased the above coin raw and attributed on the bid board at a local brick and mortar coin dealer. It is now graded VF35 and attributed Two Feathers variety by PCGS. I own a second 1919 2F, graded F15 attributed 2F by PCGS. I now also own a 1919 2F graded NGC AU58 but unattributed. It will be going to PCGS. And I own two other raw 1919 2Fs, both in Fine, more or less. They do not all appear to have been struck from the same pair of dies. But the story […]

Comment: 1916 (DDO)

That’s quite a cherrypick. I’ve been aware of the variety ever since it’s appearance in the old Spadone books on “oddities” and varieties from the early ’60s (general awareness of the variety was ensured by it’s first appearance in the “Greysheet” in 1976.) I used to occasionally look at 1916 Buffs back to the early ’60s but had never seen an actual example. I’ve been intensively looking for it for 25+ years. It’s one of only two of the worthwhile doubled dies in the series I’ve never been able to cherry-the other being the 1915 1-O-IV.

There was an AU […]

1916 (DDO)

5c1916ddoO old holder

Recently I cherry picked a 1916 Double Die Obverse on eBay! Yes, the big one! The story is long, tense, suspenseful, and yet to be completed, but here is the beginning.

I was trolling eBay looking for picks when I came upon a 1916 buffalo. I look at almost all 1916’s, not because I ever expected to find a 1916 ddo, but to look for a second example of the 1916 possible 3hl that Ron Pope reported. The first feature I saw were the ribbons, much wider than normal and clearly doubled. I expanded the image and looked at the […]