1918/7-D BUFFALO 5C, FIVE CENTS IN RECESS MS66
FABULOUS OVERDATE. GREAT LUSTER. MAY BE FINEST KNOWN.
NGC Graded Higher:
In 1918, World War I was coming to an end and the United States was showing itself to be a premier world power. The US spent an estimated $32 billion to fund the war effort, one fifth of that coming from the creation of notes and coins. The 1918/7 buffalo nickel is additionally important given the unusually large proportion of small change minted from 1917 to 1918. Therefore, this buffalo nickel, produced by the fastest growing economy in the world, was in no small way part of a war effort that helped to ensure a world in which the United States would lead the international community for the coming century.
Along with the 1916/16 Doubled Die Obverse and the 1937-D 3-Legged, the 1918/7-D is the most popular variety in the 1913-1938 Buffalo Nickel series. The '18/7-D is much rarer than the '37-D 3-Legged, and it is only marginally less so than the '16-P DDO. This overdate was created because the booming United States economy of the World War I years resulted in an insatiable demand for circulating coinage. Sometime at the end of 1917, when the Engraving Department in the Philadelphia Mint was preparing dies for both 1917-dated and 1918-dated coinage, a Mint employee took a Buffalo Nickel obverse die that had already received an impression from a 1917-dated hub and gave it a second impression from a 1918-dated hub. Whether this was done intentionally or by mistake is not known, but we do know that this die was shipped west for use in the Denver Mint as part of the facility's 1918-D Buffalo Nickel delivery. That certain 1918-D Nickels actually show traces of a 7 underneath the final digit in the date was discovered by numismatists as long ago as 1931. This fact notwithstanding, few genuine 1918/7-D Nickels have been authenticated over the years, and the overdate remains rare in an absolute sense and excessively so in Mint State.