A giant Buffalo nickel and a one pound silver Eagle?

Mike F. writes: I have a Buffalo nickel coin that is 77mm in diameter. It is dated 1913 with the S under the five cents. Is this an actual coin since it is so large? If it is not an actual coin for circulation, what is it and where did it come from?

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Bill W. writes: I have a Limited editon commemorative one pound Silver Eagle. Proof, mintage 10,000 diameter 3.5, fineness .999 silver weight one troy pound, edge reed, specificatons set by “Continental Mint” Yr. 1991. Any idea what it is worth?

Both these “coins” are essentially bullion items. Their value lies in their precious metal content.

U.S. 5 cent nickels are 21.2 mm in diameter. There were no other sizes made. This is a medallion made to compete with the U.S. Mint’s issue of the 2001 Buffalo dollar (38.1 mm) that is similar to the the original Fraser design. The U.S. Mint product is dated 2001.

U.S. silver Eagles are 40.6 mm in diameter and weigh 31.101 grams. This “limited edition” 12 troy ounce behemoth was similarly produced to take advantage of its resemblence to the smaller, official U.S. Mint coin.

There are many bullion issues made by a private companies that have absolutely no association with the United States Mint. Recently the Mint has sued such companies that appropriate U.S. coinage designs, for copyright infringement. Often when these items are advertised, the ad is constructed in such a manner that people are led to believe that these medals are official issues with a limited mintage and might have future potential.

The market considers these medallions to be bullion items with no other value. This is not to say that someone might be impressed with this presentation and pay a premium to purchase it from you, just that there is no market premium above the silver value.

Note that the term “proof” is not a statement of grade (condition) but a method of manufacture. Proof coins are graded in a similar manner as mint state coins.

See the CoinSite Metals Page for current silver prices.