1937-D "Three Leg Variety"
It is rare when an error in U.S. coinage can be
traced to the individual who was responsible for creating that
error. In 1937, a Mr. Young, who was then new to the Mint, and under
pressure to complete a quota of coinage, took an emery stick and
ground off evidence of die clashing from a pair of dies. But, in his
haste, he also inadvertently ground off part of the foreleg of the
bison. Only one pair of dies was so affected and Mint State examples
are very scarce, although lower grade, circulated coins are always
available for a price.
These nickels are known as Buffalo, Bison or Indian Head nickels.
James E. Fraser designed this nickel employing three different
Indians as models. His initial "F" is beneath the date. The bison
was modeled after "Black Diamond" in the New York Park Zoo.