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1913 5C Type One, PR

Image Information

Type Coin
Title 1913 5C Type One, PR
Date 1913
Grade PR65
Service NGC
Service Catalog # 3988
Denomination 5C

1913 5C Type One PR65 NGC. James Earle Fraser designed the Buffalo nickel after convincing Mint officials "The idea of the Indian and the buffalo on the same coin is, without doubt, purely American and seems to be singularly appropriate to have on one of our national coins." Fraser also designed the 1926 Oregon Trail Memorial commemorative half dollar, another purely American design that perhaps equals the Buffalo nickel in its high level of artistry. While the new nickel design was approved in mid-1912, engraving of the dies was delayed while Fraser was forced to modify the depth of its relief in an attempt to satisfy the vending and coin-operated machine lobby, which argued that the new nickel would not conform to its counterfeit-detection apparatus (designed to work with the previous Liberty Head nickel design). The "tail wagged the dog" for several months as Fraser attempted to refine the design. Production was delayed into the new year and it was not until February 15, 1913 that the Mint declared no more changes would be made in that regard. The design elements of this Gem proof are intricately defined, and the rich matte luster yields warm champagne toning with no distracting marks. The Type One proof not only shows the bison standing on a mound with the denomination elevated, it also has more a ruggedly refined texture in the fields that was largely eliminated on the Type Two variant. Many series specialists consider the Type One to be the aesthetically superior design. Ex: "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; Green Estate; Partnership of Eric P. Newman / B.G. Johnson d.b.a. St. Louis Stamp and Coin Co.; Eric P. Newman @ $6.00; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.

Heritage Newman IX, November 2017, lot 15074, realized $3360. Images and description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

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