Skip to main content

Horn measures wear on Buffalo

How do I tell whether my Buffalo nickel is a “full” or “quarter” horn? Is this some kind of grade like “full steps?”


It is not a grade but a visual check of the condition of the coin, or a key area to check for wear. To determine the amount of horn remaining, you either need an uncirculated coin or a good picture of one to compare the amount of horn detail or outline remaining. An uncirculated, fully struck coin will have a full horn, with the entire outline showing. As the coin wears, the right portion of the horn is the first to disappear, until only the tip is left on a well-worn coin.

What ever happened to the Chase Manhattan Bank coin collection?

The money collection of more than 24,000 pieces, exhibited by the bank beginning in 1929, was donated to the Smithsonian Institution in 1978, except for pieces that had earlier been given to the American Numismatic Society. The Chase Manhattan Money Museum was a popular tourist attraction in New York City. It was operated by the Chase Manhattan Bank and centered around the collection of Farran Zerbe, who was the first curator. The museum was in operation from 1929 to 1973. Gene Hessler was the curator when the exhibit closed.

Is it true that there have been times when Canadian banks refused to accept U.S. coins?

This happened several times between the U.S. Civil War and World War I. So many U.S. silver coins were shipped to Canada during the Civil War that the banks refused them because the Canadian dollar at the time was worth more than the U.S. dollar.

How many royal couples appear on English coins?

Mary I and consort Philip II of Spain are on shillings and sixpence dated 1554-1557. William and Mary were next (they are usually listed as “first”), then Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. A crown with Prince Charles and Lady Di was struck in 1981. But once the door was opened, there have been too many to name here since.

Are any countries still using “scheidemuenze?”

One of the meanings of the Germanic term is coins that do not have an intrinsic value – meaning their metallic content – that is equal to the face value. Technically almost all of the world’s coins, U.S. circulating coins included, with the exception of some small denominations, fail to meet this test and are classed as scheidemuenze. As a practical matter, both Austria and Germany still refer to their minor coins as scheidemuenze.

E-mail inquiries only. Do not send letters in the mail. Send to Because of space limitations, we are unable to publish all questions.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express. >> Subscribe today

More Collecting Resources

• More than 600 issuing locations are represented in the Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800 .

• The 1800s were a time of change for many, including in coin production. See how coin designs grew during the time period in the Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900 .