The Buffalo nickel — the purpose of the United States ’ 5-cent coin from 1913 to 1938 — remains one of the most popular and well-loved coins. This, despite the fact that it has been closely a century since Buffalo nickels foremost appeared in the pockets and purses of Americans.
hera ’ south everything you want to know about Buffalo nickels and what they ’ re deserving today.
Design Of The Buffalo Nickel
James E. Fraser designed the Buffalo nickel based from real-life models. The american english Bison ( which people normally refer to as a old world buffalo ) is believed to have been Fraser ’ s take on “ Black Diamond, ” an American Bison which was featured at the New York Zoological Gardens. The native american flop is the beautiful, aesthetic consequence when Fraser combined the features of three american indian chiefs : Iron Tail, Two Moons, and John Big Tree .
Can Buffalo Nickels Still Be Found In Change?
The answer is yes, but this is an extremely difficult undertaking which frequently yields the seeker nothing but a crowd of Jefferson nickels ( though Jefferson nickels are besides exciting to collect ). Buffalo nickels have long been a darling design among Americans, for these coins reflect a rich and much quixotic part of our nation ’ sulfur past. Since the last Buffalo nickel was produced in 1938, these coins have been disappearing into collections, hoards, jars, and drawers. very few persist in circulation today, and those which do turn up are much in badly wear condition. In fact, due to the localization of the mint ’ south date — positioned on a very “ high ” part of the coin — it is not at all out of the kingdom of possibility to find well-worn Buffalo nickels bearing no date any ! These Buffalo nickels are broadly worth no more than 10 to 25 cents but, if found in circulation, they still make quite a trophy however .
Types Of Buffalo Nickels
While the bulk of the Buffalo nickel series contains date and batch chump combinations which are highly common, there are a few particular dates which have become quite scarce over the years. Most of the “ truly expensive ” Buffalo nickels are either errors or “ overdates ” — an issue which occurs when mint engravers inscribe a digit of a date over another digit in a date. Before delving into the respective rare Buffalo nickels, it is important to realize there are 2 distinct varieties of Buffalo nickels :
Type I Buffalo nickels include the words “ five cents ” superimposed on the mound upon which the Bison stands on the overrule of the coin. type I nickels were struck only during the first gear year of production : 1913. Type II Buffalo nickels display “ Five Cents ” in a recess sphere below the mound on the reversion. Type II nickels were produced from 1913 properly up through to the end of the series .
mint marks, which designate the U.S. Mint that struck a coin, can be found on the Buffalo nickel fair under the words “ five cents ” on the bottom of the rearward side of the coin.
Rare Buffalo Nickels
- The 1913-S Type I Buffalo nickel is a scarce issue which retails for around $50 in Good condition. (For a Buffalo nickel to grade at least “Good,” its date and lettering must all be visible.)
- The 1913-D Type II can bring in $125 in Good condition.
- The 1913-S Type II is even pricier, at $350 in Good condition.
- The 1914/3 (where the digit 4 is superimposed over the 3) is valued at $390 in Good condition, and the 1914-D issue can command $90.
- The 1916 Doubled-Die Obverse can bring in at least $3,500 in Good condition. Doubled-die coins occur when the “die,” which imprints a coin’s design, strikes a coin twice thus imparting a “doubled” image on a coin. The degree of doubling can range from barely perceptible to highly evident.
- The 1918/7-D overdate is worth $1,300 and up in Good or better condition.
- The 1921-S which is worth about $70 and up in Good or better grades.
- The 1935 Doubled-Die Reverse is worth around $40 and up in grades of Good or higher.
Buffalo Nickel Error Coins
There are 2 more Buffalo nickels which can cause attention :
- The 1936-D 3-1/2 legs Buffalo nickel (part of the Bison’s front leg is missing)
- The 1937-D 3 legs Buffalo nickel (one of the rear legs is missing completely)
What are these errors worth ? At least $ 500 and $ 575, respectively, in well condition. Prices increase if the coins are in higher grades ( less break ) .
To find more Buffalo nickel prices, check out the Professional Coin Grading Service price chart.
What About The Values Of Other Buffalo Nickels?
The short-change answer is that most Buffalo nickels not listed above are worth between $ 1.50 and $ 10 in the lower, go around grades, depending on date and mint tag. You should consider checking out the latest version of A Guide Book of United States Coins by R.S. Yeoman and Ken Bressett for more insight on values, grade, and early information, including mintages. To find out more about Buffalo nickels on the web, check out this identical informative web site dedicated to the Buffalo nickel, or this more concise article on the Buffalo nickel .
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I ’ m the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I chiefly collect and study U.S. coins produced during the twentieth century. I ’ m a member of the American Numismatic Association ( ANA ) and the Numismatic Literary Guild ( NLG ) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my exploit as a mint journalist. I ’ m besides the editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club ( FUN Topics cartridge holder ), and generator of Images of America : The United States Mint in Philadelphia ( a reserve that explores the colored history of the Philadelphia Mint ). I ’ ve contributed hundreds of articles for versatile mint publications including neologism, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I ’ ve authored about 1,000 articles hera at The Fun Times Guide to Coins ( many of them with over 50K shares ), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below !
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