The Complete Guide to Buffalo Nickels by David W. Lange

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David W. Lange
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The Complete Guide to Buffalo Nickels

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Book review

We are very proud to announce the release of the 14th book in the DLRC Press "Complete Guide" book series. The Complete Guide to Buffalo Nickels, 2nd Edition, by David Lange is now available for shipping. This long awaited update to Dave’s 1992 edition is filled with everything you need to know about the series and is a true necessity for anyone who collects this widely popular issue.

Overview of the Series
Lange recounts in almost perfect form the history of the Buffalo series. He takes you from the conception of the series to the last circulating mintage in 1938, incorporating details and accounts that showcase the vast research and time spent in creating the text. Lange provides one of the best-written and interesting case studies of how any series of coinage came to fruition. This section has been largely improved over the first edition. Discussing the design and popularity of the series, Lange leads us into little known and fascinating facts about the Buffalo nickel. The discussion of the history of the Bison used for the reverse design (and what happened to the poor creature), the three Indian models needed to make the final portrait of the Chief on the obverse and the brief biography of the designer, James Fraser, makes for wonderful reading and adds even more substance to an already rich series of coins.

Date & Mint-mark Analysis
The biggest benefit of this book to any collector is the thorough analysis of each date and mint issue. Lang updates and improves his reporting from the first edition with current values and newly discovered varieties. Each date is fully analyzed from mintage, strike and luster to rarity ratings in various grades. David has done the same with an entire chapter devoted to the Proof issues. Strike is a major aspect of any series, but none so much as with the Buffalo series. Many dates are known for the weak strike (15-D, 24-S, 26-S to name a few) and Lang is quite thorough in attributing those dates. This information alone is worth many times the price of the book.

All this and more...
Following the format of all books in the "Complete Guide" series, rarity ratings are given for each date based upon grade and mintage as well as total certified populations from both NGC and PCGS. Also included is information about errors, counterfeit and altered coins, and grading specifics. Virtually everything you need to start or continue your Buffalo Nickel collection is in this new edition. This book is truly a must-have for anyone who collects or is thinking of collecting the Buffalo series.

Collecting Buffalo Nickels
Buffalo nickels are one of the most popular issues of U.S. coinage. They offer a piece of Americana for the history buffs and are also a challenging but obtainable set. Minted from 1913 to 1938, the series is not very large, with fewer than 70 coins to assemble in a standard set. The more advanced collector may choose to add the 1916 double die or the 1918/7-D overdate to create an elite collection. Common date mint state pieces start under $50 and even the key dates are affordable in lower grades.

The most challenging aspect of the Buffalo series is finding these key dates in affordable grades with good strikes. You will often find the 1926-S seems to be more common in MS64 than in AU50. There are two reasons for this anomaly: the coins tended to wear rather quickly, thus making many of the nickels very low grade, and there are so many collectors for the affordable grades that they don’t make it onto the market for very long. Don’t let this discourage you from starting a collection. Most Buffalo nickel collections are quite varied in grade, with many spanning from XF to MS66. With a little patience, a nice collection a Buffalo Nickels set is a very rewarding endeavor.

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