Finding valuable Buffalo nickels can be like discovering a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow for coin collectors, so they must know how to spot them.
The value of a Buffalo nickel begins with its date, which should be legible and undamaged. A careful inspection should uncover more details, such as its mint mark and variety.
The 1913 Buffalo nickel features the right-facing profile of a Native American wearing a headdress and bison or buffalo images on either side. Sculptor James Earle Fraser designed it in response to President Theodore Roosevelt’s desire for beautified coins, with five-cent coins being produced between 1913 and 1938 and widely circulated. Due to its beauty and rarity, collectors now prize this collectible coin, one popular variety being a 1937-D three-leg buffalo error coin that can fetch high values; starting prices for regular Buffalo nickels begin around $350.
The value of Buffalo nickels usually depends on their condition and type. Uncirculated coins are in great demand and may command double their circulated coin counterparts in value. A well-preserved Buffalo nickel must show great detail with no noticeable scratches or other flaws to preserve its beauty; additionally, any inscriptions should be sharp and legible.
There are various varieties of Buffalo nickels, but 1913 Type 1 stands out as being rarest. Minted in Philadelphia, it features the word FIVE CENTS raised over an incuse format. Its terms wear away more rapidly than they would on flat coins, thus making the Type 1 more susceptible to wear and tear than other Buffalo nickels.
Collectors should consider purchasing only type 1 Buffalo nickel coins that show no evidence of wear and feature errors like die clashing and eroded edges to ensure they get coins of optimal quality. When making their selection, collectors should observe coins to look out for these variations as a measure to guarantee maximum quality!
The 1913 Type 2 Buffalo nickel was produced in Denver and San Francisco and is extremely rare; one in mint state can fetch as much as $13,500. Collectors should note that this coin may cost more than others due to the unique design on its reverse.
The Buffalo nickel is one of the most beloved coins from this series, evoking American idealization of the Wild West with its design. Produced between 1913 and 1938, its value can depend on mint date, rarity, and condition factors – as can its value be in thousands! However, the discount varies based on mint date, rarity, and condition factors.
The inaugural Buffalo nickels were issued for public sale in 1913 and became an instantaneous success with the public. These coins featured the profile of a Native American on one side, and an image of a buffalo on the reverse; both designs by James Earle Fraser depict three Native American chiefs who performed as performers in Wild West shows, while on the reverse, there is an image modeled after an actual buffalo captured during Lewis and Clark’s expedition of Pacific Northwest.
In 1914, the Buffalo Nickel was redesigned, and its reverse reimagined to feature the buffalo standing on a plane rather than a mound to help protect its inscription FIVE CENTS from premature wear and tear. Furthermore, this version featured more miniature buffaloes with different colors, giving this version of the coin its unique identity; production continued until 1938, when this theme was eventually retired.
Type 2 Buffalo nickels come in all conditions, from worn to uncirculated. A circulated coin may only be worth 50 cents, while an example in perfect condition could fetch well over $3,000. Coins in ideal state are often graded by professional grading companies such as NGC and PCGS to determine their value and find buyers for them.
Buffalo nickels with full dates and horns are among the most valuable coins available, though they may be hard to come by in circulating condition. A 1916-P Doubled Die Obverse (DDO) Buffalo nickel sold at auction for $281,750 back in 2004; that record still stands today!
No-Date S Mint Mark
The Buffalo nickel is one of the most coveted coins among collectors. Created by James Earle Fraser in 1913 and released shortly after that, its design depicts three Native American chiefs on its obverse: Chief Iron Tail, Big Tree, and Two Moons can all be seen here. On its reverse is “LIBERTY,” along with two images: buffalo head with Indian head. A Buffalo nickel’s value depends on its condition and mintmark – one with a more legible date brings greater returns in value; using chemicals on its surface can damage its surface!
Buffalo nickels feature date stamps on their lower left sides, making this area one of the first places where wear and tear will impact its surface. Over time, however, some collectors find these worn-out coins appealing and are willing to pay high prices.
Buffalo nickels that lack dates tend to have minimal numismatic value and sell for no more than five cents in American currency. Collectors sometimes purchase such coins to reveal their year of minting using chemicals, though such treatments could end up damaging its surface and thus reducing value further.
Buffalo nickel collectors also prize them due to their rarity, starting from nine dollars starting price and potentially reaching thousands when in uncirculated condition.
The price of Buffalo nickels depends upon their grade, mintmark, and overall condition. An uncirculated Buffalo nickel in uncirculated condition can fetch a high price at auction houses, mainly if it features rare mintmarks or key dates; particularly valuable are coins with S mint marks as this particular marking was only ever used briefly and cannot be found on other American nickels.
No-Date D Mint Mark
The No-Date D mint mark is only found on Buffalo Nickels produced at the Denver Mint. Collectors highly prize these coins, and many will pay over $1,000 to acquire one minted at Denver compared to one without one at all. However, collectors should take caution in purchasing such coins from online dealers as these could contain counterfeit or altered copies designed to increase their value; only trusty coin dealers will ensure authenticity.
Some may mistakenly believe that the United States Mint accidentally failed to add dates on certain Buffalo nickels; this is not the case; over time, these dates faded from use and circulation. While such coins do not hold as much value as their peers with visible dates, they still make fascinating collectibles for those passionate about this iconic American coin.
Some even dedicated collectors specialize in collecting Buffalo Nickels without dates, which might seem unusual at first. While these coins might appear odd, these worn-out coins were circulated for long enough that revealing their minting year and real value can often be quite valuable. These collectors enjoy unveiling these coins’ true worth – which, in many cases, can be significant.
To determine whether a Buffalo nickel has the No-Date D mint mark, examine its obverse (front) and reverse sides. On its face should appear the name of the US Mint and a cents denomination; its reverse should feature an image of a buffalo with words reading, “Denver Mint.” If either side lacks dates on which to locate any dates stamped onto it, chances are it is probably a No-Date D coin.
No-Date D coins are worth more than their regular Buffalo nickel counterpart, though not as much as Type 1 or 2 Buffalo nickels. Still, they remain an attractive coin that looks great when displayed at shops for artifacts, antiques, and collectors.
An uncirculated No-Date D coin could be worth over $500 in uncirculated condition and make for an eye-catching display in a museum or private collection.