Recently this coin showed up in a Gary Ryther auction top top Proxibid. Come Ryther’s credit, he note in his summary that the coin may be altered and provides a close-up that the severed leg. That is the wrong place to watch if you lack numismatic expertise.

You are watching: 3-legged buffalo nickel fake

Coin dealers and skilled hobbyists regularly challenge easy, clever and an overwhelming to recognize fake 3-legged Buffalo Nickels. A worn constant 1937-D may cost a few bucks. Device a foreleg ~ above the reverse, and also puff!, you have end up being an alchemist, transforming nickel and also copper right into gold–literally.

Genuine 3-legged nickels are coveted. Given the popularity of the overly sleek coin (the reason for the absent leg), the need for the selection is intense because so many currently are in sets, registries and also holders.

The above example in the Proxibid auction is basic to detect as a fake. Ryther concentrates on the missing foreleg in this close-up photo:

The hoof the the lacking leg is struck also strongly because that a genuine 3-leg nickel. And also tooling is evident. However many collectors will not be able to identify that.

The best means to detect a fake is come look at the “P” in pluribus and the “U” in unum Those letters perform not touch the earlier of the buffalo, together in this yes, really NGC example offered by SilverTowne ~ above Proxibid:

The Ryther example has the reverse of a usual 1937-D nickel. Let’s use an uncirculated one to watch how carefully the “P” and also “U” are to the buffalo’s back:

Now let’s look at the Ryther example:

An noticeable fake. The “P” and also “U” are emotional the back.

More daunting fakes worry “very good” circulated regular 1937-D nickels treated with acid so the the surface ar is corroded and also the “P” and also “U” not quickly discerned. Those coins are sent to a bottom-tier holdering companies and come ago graded together authentic but damaged. See this post for much more information around that.

The most daunting fakes to uncover are from China. Start counterfeiters can’t afford genuine 3-legged coins and also so tool regular 1937-D coins. In those cases, the “P” and also “U” test still applies. Height counterfeiters use computer system programs to scan an yes, really 3-legged coin and also then develop dies from that. Those need a peak grading firm with records on fakes come uncover, tracking instances with similar bagmarks and also other tell-tale dice marks.

As because that the Proxibid fake, I’ll usage the company’s “report this item” link. We’ll view if the auction company removes the lot or labels it a fake. Much more later on that.

How about you? have you any experience with 3-legged fakes? Why don’t friend share your endure below?


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