Caleb Karling's Blog

18 Aug 2017

1937-D 3 Legged Buffalo Nickel

Coins | Caleb Karling

recently I have seen quite a few fake 1937-D 3 legged buffalo nickels. So here are my 5 diagnostics into determining if a 1937-D 3 legged Buffalo nickel is real.
  • Neck of the indian

The top of the neck on the indian will look really bumpy and mossy. It won't be smooth like the rest of the neck.

  • The missing leg

Look at where the leg is supposed to be and look for tool marks like a dremel, or file. The hoof of the buffalo will still be there in a genuine coin.

  • The buffalo

The body of a genuine 3 legged buffalo nickel will be significantly smaller than a regular buffalo nickel. One of the funnier ways to spot a genuine nickel (Usually in BU or better) the buffalo looks like it's urinating.

  • Back Legs

The two back legs of the buffalo will look very bumpy and rigid like the top of the indians neck.

  • e pluribus unum

The P in pluribus and U in unum can’t be touching the buffalo.



Level 6

Great blog! Thanks for the info!

Conan Barbarian

Level 5

thanks for the useful tips


Level 6

A very interesting variety.


Level 6

Good quick bullet points to look for. There are tons of fakes out there. I would, personally, stick with slabbed and still be careful. There are getting good at faking slabs. Thanks!


Level 5

It has been a while since I have been looking at 3-legged buffalos. But I remember that when I was looking about half were altered coins.


Level 3

Great info thanks for posting


Level 7

Many collectors have or want this coin. The hobby magazines have the info on the counterfeits all the time. Or you can look them up in books. I always say books are the key to a good collection.Mike.


Level 6

These coins are quite popular. This info is needed. Thanks!

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