Huge hoard of Buffaloes stampedes into Littleton!
Armored car carries 300,000 nickels to
April 2, 1998
A staggering hoard of 300,000 circulated Indian Head/Buffalo nickels recently was acquired by Littleton Coin Co., Littleton, New Hampshire. The latest in a series of old coin hoards acquired by the company, this particular acquisition is the largest quantity of Buffalo nickels ever purchased at one time in Littleton's 52 year history.
Some of these coins will be on display at the Central States Numismatic Society convention, April 24 - 26, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
"We bought these 300,000 coins from a western states dealer. Just a year ago, we bought 112,000 Buffalo nickels from another source and, at the time, that was the largest of Buffaloes we'd purchased in 20 years," said David Sundman, Littleton President.
"This latest impressive acquisition certainly beats the record; it's the largest one-time purchase of Buffalo nickels by Littleton since our company was founded just after World War Two."
A Brink's armored car transported the nickels to New Hampshire in 75 canvas bags weighing a combined total 3,300 pounds. Many of the coins were contained in Wells Fargo Bank bags, adding to the "old West" image of the distinctively American design of the nickels.
One of the Wells Fargo bags will be displayed with some of the hoard nickels at Littleton's bourse table during the Central States convention.
The enormous task now is underway to separate the hoard coins by date, mint mark and grade.
"I estimate it will take 375 hours to sort all 300,000 coins, and probably not much longer to sell them to customers," said Jim Reardon, Littleton's Chief Coin Buyer. "All the Buffalo nickels from last year's hoard were quickly bought by collectors within weeks."
Littleton, which spent more than $12 million the past year to acquire coins for customers, paid "a six figures" price for the 300,000 Buffalo nickels, according to Reardon.
Buffalo or Indian Head nickels were produced by the United States from 1913 to 1938.
In addition to last year's acquisition of 112,000 Buffalo nickels, Littleton also purchased hoards of 40,000 Liberty nickels and 3,671 Flying Eagle cents along with nearly 5,000 other 18th and 19th century coins. In 1996, the company completed acquisition of 23,000 rare coins originally collected from New York Transit Authority subway and bus fares.
For additional information, contact Littleton Coin Co., One Littleton Coin Place, Littleton, NH 03561. Phone 800-645-3122.