Mint documents indicate that Philadelphia Mint Superintendent John Landis informed Mint Director George Roberts on March 3, 1913, that 17 pattern Buffalo nickels had been struck. The documents also list to whom they were distributed. Of the 17 struck, six pieces went to John Landis on February 28 and are assumed to have been destroyed. Two are in the Smithsonian, leaving at most nine examples in private hands, assuming they have all been identified as patterns.
Three Buffalo nickel design coins were included in the eight-coin set housed in a custom leather case with the five 1913 Liberty nickels when Eric P. Newman acquired those famous coins in the early 1940s. In a September 2011 article in The Numismatist, Jeff Reichenberger notes that the Judd-1950 pattern was probably one of those pieces.
The first time was in our June 2001 Long Beach Auction, where it was described as:
“Similar to the adopted design but lacking the designer’s initial F below the date. Struck in nickel with a plain edge. The surfaces have a rough, granular texture that is even more pronounced than on the regular issue coins. Obviously cleaned at one time, the surfaces have since retoned in speckled rose and lime-green colors but much of the underlying brilliance is still evident.”
The obverse rim is also much wider than any circulation strike or proof Buffalo nickel.