Prices vs Grades of Buffalo Nickels
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February 19, 2008
There are MANY opinions put forth on grading these truly works of art! It is true that some years and some mints tend to have better struck nickels than others (probably true for other denominations - but not with as much variance as this one!). BUT - the grading criteria should be INFLEXIBLE, so as to maintain the integrity of coins' worths in pricing guides. A circulated FULL HORN, SPLIT TAIL buffalo nickel used to be XF-45. For soft struck dates, 1926-D, for example, such a coin will command a huge premium in price in the guides. This is because so many were struck so weak, as to drop in visual grade level from uncirculated to, perhaps, very good, with only a partial horn when circulated, having varying degrees of mint luster. The poor and well struck 1926-D's can and should follow the standard grading criteria, proferred by the grading agencies, with the better struck coins commanding a premium price. Sellers always try to impose a "PQ" (premium quality) price on nicely struck coins anyway, but do not be fooled by their appeals to your reconsideration of the grading because of weak strikes or worn dies making their coin more desireable. The pricing guides will have that already taken into account for the grades and grading criteria presented in them. Google buffalo nickels prices - you'll find all kinds of help!
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