1918-S Buffalo Nickel, Choice Almost Uncirculated, PCGS AU-55, Scarce

1918-S Buffalo Nickel, Choice Almost Uncirculated, PCGS AU-55, Scarce

529.00

An original example of this scarce date, treated a bit harshly by PCGS. The actual wear, what there is of it, places this coin closer to AU-58 (I had in fact “hoped” that it might squeak into an Unc holder). The strike is a bit soft at center, which mutes the luster in that area and is the reason that PCGS only graded this AU-55, as otherwise there does not appear to be any wear other than just a touch on the Bison. The reason for the strike problem is obvious from the Obverse die: a heavy die clash under the Native’s chin, as well as three die cracks, all of which suggest that the die was refinished to reduce the cracks and/or the striking pressure was adjusted, likely by spacing the dies just a bit farther apart. All this in the attempt to keep a die set in service in this busy Wartime year, very possibly near the end of the year. It was a common problem for both Denver and San Francisco to have to eke out the life of their dies at year’s end, as Philadelphia would not ship fresh dies in the last Quarter typically, as they were preparing new dies for the next calendar year. If a sudden surge in demand for a denomination occurred, the Branch Mints were just out of luck in that respect.

PCGS 3940.55/37435558

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