REINCARNATION PHOTO GALLERY

The photos shown below are finished nickels which were listed on eBay and subsequently sold. If you won some Buffalo Nickels from me on eBay between 6/20/08 and 7/13/08 you may be the proud owner of one of these coins! If so, feel free to consider yourself FAMOUS as your coin has now been immortalized forever on my website!

Most of the dates and mints shown below can be found in my eBay listings almost every week. Others, like the 1926-S and the 1918/7-D overdate, show up a lot less frequently. In all cases, I've shown you the front and the back of the coin and have added some semi-pertinent comments under the photos.

Please keep in mind that about 98% of the Buffalo Nickels I list on eBay have a "D" or "S" mint mark, so my comments, below, are written from the standpoint of one who does not consider the Philadelphia mint coins to be part of his world. My world also does not include very many "original date" nickels, either.

This was a particularly nice coin that restored very evenly, front and back. On a 10 scale, this one gets about an 8.5. Most of these I come across have better reverses than obverses. "Five Cents" is typically pretty weak.

The vast majority of 13-S T1's will NOT restore adequately on the front, especially the date. It's a shame, too, because the reverses usually come back pretty strong. For every 4 of these I try to restore, only one will be good enough to list. Making matters worse, even without any trace of a date showing, these coins are easy to cherry-pick out of a batch of no dates, so they're being hoarded. On average, I only have one available to list on eBay every other or every third week. On a 10 scale, this one gets a strong 7. (Note the split tail!!)

Excessive reverse scratches and a little weakness in the "19" in the date kept this from being a truly great coin. This is another year/mint where the reverse frequently eclipses the obverse in quality when restored. I've had some real heart-breakers where the reverse was nearly a 10 but the date was almost unreadable. I give this one an 8, despite the scratches.

In the world of original date coins (I don't live in THAT world) this is one of the most rare and most sought-after dates in the series. In my world of restored nickels, these are pretty common. I find them all the time. It's a good thing, too, because only about 40% of what I find restore well enough for me to list them on eBay. This one restored very nicely, but the scratches on the front side prevented it from being a world-beater.

This year and mint are very common in my world. They normally restore pretty nicely and pretty evenly on both sides. This one also had a slight die rotation.

It's always a good day when I find one of these. In my world, they may be a little more rare than the 1913-S T2. Fortunately, they almost always restore well enough to warrant listing on eBay. I can't remember very many going into the "cull bucket."

This is, without a doubt, the most common date in my world of restored coins. Only about a third of them are keepers, but due to sheer numbers I have ROLLS of these that are suitable for listing. Whoa!! MAJOR die rotation here!

The front side of a 1917 ("D" or "S") is hard to photograph. The "17" in the date just does not show up well for reasons I don't fully understand. To get around that, I rotate the coin 90 degrees so that the Indian is looking up at the ceiling. That solves the problem of the "17" but it gives the coin an odd, sort of darker look you see on the obverse in these photos. I sometimes have to use this 90 degree rotation trick on 1921's and 1913's, but not too often.

I do the "happy dance" whenever I find one of these. They generally restore pretty evenly, front and back, and usually rate about a 7 on a 10 scale. This one was better than most with a very easily detected overdate. Actually, there is a small nick right at the "corner" of the 7 which kept it from being even more dramatic. I always offer a 30 day return privilege on these so that the buyer has a chance to get it authenticated if he or she wishes.

I normally don't bother listing this year and mint because experience has taught me that there's just not much demand for it. My guess is that nice original date coins for this year are plentiful and relatively cheap. This one was SO nice however that I just couldn't resist listing it. It sold for just over $20.00.

This is another date that I always have in stock and available despite it's high cost and low availability in the world of original dates. The restored condition of this year can range from spectacular to sort of icky. This is one of the few years where the front of the coin is much more likely to restore better than the reverse. I've sold quite a few where I've advertised them as "Strong Date" simply because the reverse was so weak. I've had very few, however, that I couldn't use at all. This year was notorious for poorly prepared planchets that resulted in a streaky appearance.

1924, 1925 and 1926 were notorious for having very weak reverse strikes. Even some UNC and AU coins from these years barely have a horn. Despite some obvious shortcomings on the front side, I listed this coin solely on the strength of the reverse side. Nice horn!

With these, if they have a good date they probably don't have a horn. Or, if they have a horn, the "19" in the date is probably faint or missing. With THIS particular coin, it had a strong date, a decent horn and a very becoming scratch running through the buffalo. Lucky me!

Normally, I don't pat myself on the back too much for producing a coin that looks like this, but when it's a 26-S, I'll gladly take it! The lowest mintage date in the series, it is further handicapped by really poor reverse strikes. Frequently, I can't even tell if the mint mark is a D or an S!