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Unusual Items: 1913 Buffalo Nickel Struck on a Dime Planchet

1913 5C Type Two Buffalo Nickel–Struck on a Dime Planchet–MS66 NGC. 2.5 gm, which is exactly the expected weight of an Uncirculated silver dime.

This remarkable wrong planchet error is predominantly silver-white, but the centers display a whisper of almond-gold toning. Luster shimmers across the immaculate surfaces, which display the finely granular texture characteristic of first-year Buffalo nickels.

Well struck despite the undersized flan, although slight incompleteness is noted on the hair above the braid, the jaw of the Indian, and the flank of the bison.

The date, designer’s initial, E PLURIBUS UNUM, and UNITED are intact. Portions of the other legends are off the flan, although all are readable. Remarkably, all of the Indian’s head is present, as is all of the bison except for the tail. Just enough of the exergue beneath the E C in FIVE CENTS to confirm that no mintmark is present.

Nickels struck on dime blanks are much scarcer than cents struck on dime blanks, but when the error combination is encountered, it is almost always on Jefferson dies.

The Buffalo nickel on silver dime planchet combination is priced at $12,000 in the 2010 Guide Book on page 403, the highest specified price on the page with the exception of the Walking Liberty half on a silver quarter planchet.

However, such prices are for examples in typically encountered grades, which for century-old issues usually imply brief circulation before a fortunate finder realized the uncommon color and diameter. A flawless MS66 certainly demands a considerable premium.

The invaluable Heritage Permanent Auction Archives, which date back to 1991, contain 8,277 lots of error coins. None of these are Buffalo nickels struck on dime planchets, although Buffalo nickels on cent planchets have occasionally appeared at auction. The present error category in such outstanding preservation may never surface again in a Heritage Signature, and the opportunity is fleeting.

To be sold By Heritage as Lot 2039 as part of the 2010 April-May Milwaukee, WI CSNS US Coin Auction #1139

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