1937-D 5C 3 Legs (Regular Strike)

Series: Buffalo Five Cents 1913-1938

PCGS MS66+

PCGS MS66+

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Key attribute is the missing front foreleg

Key attribute is the missing front foreleg

PCGS MS66+

PCGS MS66+

PCGS #:
3982
Designer:
James Earle Fraser
Edge:
Plain
Diameter:
21.20 millimeters
Weight:
5.00 grams
Mintage:
17,826,000
Mint:
Denver
Metal:
75% Copper, 25% Nickel
Major Varieties

Current Auctions - PCGS Graded
Current Auctions - NGC Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - PCGS Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates Learn More

Grades Survival
Estimate
Numismatic
Rarity
Relative Rarity
By Type
Relative Rarity
By Series
All Grades 10,000 R-3.0 36 / 69 TIE 36 / 72 TIE
60 or Better 1,400 R-4.8 23 / 69 TIE 23 / 72 TIE
65 or Better 100 R-8.0 13 / 69 TIE 13 / 72 TIE
Survival Estimate
All Grades 10,000
60 or Better 1,400
65 or Better 100
Numismatic Rarity
All Grades R-3.0
60 or Better R-4.8
65 or Better R-8.0
Relative Rarity By Type All Specs in this Type
All Grades 36 / 69 TIE
60 or Better 23 / 69 TIE
65 or Better 13 / 69 TIE
Relative Rarity By Series All Specs in this Series
All Grades 36 / 72 TIE
60 or Better 23 / 72 TIE
65 or Better 13 / 72 TIE

Condition Census What Is This?

Pos Grade Image Pedigree and History
1 MS66+ PCGS grade

Legend Rare Coin Auctions 12/2015:98, $88,125 - “Cuyuna” Collection

2 MS66 PCGS grade
2 MS66 PCGS grade MS66 PCGS grade

Legend Rare Coin Auctions 5/2016:66, $55,812.50

2 MS66 PCGS grade MS66 PCGS grade
2 MS66 PCGS grade

Rafferty Collection - Heritage 1/2018:4793, $48,000 - D.L. Hansen Collection

2 MS66 PCGS grade

McCarroll Collection (cat-matched) - Goldbergs 9/2015:953, $64,625

2 MS66 PCGS grade
2 MS66 PCGS grade
2 MS66 PCGS grade
2 MS66 PCGS grade
#1 MS66+ PCGS grade

Legend Rare Coin Auctions 12/2015:98, $88,125 - “Cuyuna” Collection

#2 MS66 PCGS grade
MS66 PCGS grade #2 MS66 PCGS grade

Legend Rare Coin Auctions 5/2016:66, $55,812.50

MS66 PCGS grade #2 MS66 PCGS grade
#2 MS66 PCGS grade

Rafferty Collection - Heritage 1/2018:4793, $48,000 - D.L. Hansen Collection

#2 MS66 PCGS grade

McCarroll Collection (cat-matched) - Goldbergs 9/2015:953, $64,625

#2 MS66 PCGS grade
#2 MS66 PCGS grade
#2 MS66 PCGS grade
#2 MS66 PCGS grade
Ron Guth: The 1937-D 3 Legs variety resulted from over-zealous polishing of a worn reverse die. The front foreleg was almost completely removed and the back leg developed a "moth-eaten" appearance (see image above). A diagnostic feature of this variety is the "stream" that appears beneath the bison's belly. If this feature is not present, beware of an altered coin.
David Hall:

The 1937-D "three-legged" Buffalo nickel is one of the most famous and most important coins of the 20th century. It is arguably the classic Buffalo nickel. This is an excessively polished die variety with the front leg of the Buffalo missing, though interestingly, the hoof shows. The coin is scare in circulated condition and rare, though not that rare, in mint state condition. Some Gem examples have survived. The popularity of this "super cool" variety drives its price as much as its rarity. This statement may seem contradictory, but most 3 leggers are fairly well struck...the leg is just missing! Luster on mint state examples is usually good and, like other 1937-D Buffalos, the luster is usually frosty. Buyers need to be very careful of 'sliders,' lightly circulated coins that attempt to pass as mint state. These coins were pulled out of circulation in 1937/38 as collectors of the era searched their change for this widely publicized variety and these barely circulated examples correctly grade AU50 to AU58+. This of course is not a problem if you buy PCGS graded 3 leggers. This is really a fun coin!