How Much is a 1926 Buffalo Nickel Worth? (Price Chart)

Buffalo nickel is among the most popular American mint coins. It was in circulation from March 1913 to 1938. It is hard to find pieces in the mint state nowadays because most of them were released into circulation. As a result, highly preserved pieces are costly and the subject of the collector’s interest.

The same thing happened with 1926 Buffalo nickel. Although three mints produced more than 50,000,000 of these coins that particular year, it won’t be easy for you to find the specimen in excellent condition. Before buying, it is advisable to check the 1926 Buffalo nickel value because their price significantly varies depending on which mint they came out.

 

1926 Buffalo Nickel History

1926 Buffalo Nickel History
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Buffalo (Indian head) nickel is a coin whose design draws on the American Indian tradition and is a favorite piece for collectors. Its complete look is the James Earl Fraser design.

Fraser was an American sculptor of the twentieth century’s first half. Numerous sculptures in Washington were his works. Among other things, he designed the Navy Cross and a World War I Victory medal. However, the Buffalo nickel design is probably his most appreciated work.

1926 Buffalo nickel

Location Year Minted Value
Philadelphia 1926 44,693,000 $3.83
San Francisco 1926 S 970,000 $14.53
Denver 1926 D 5,638,000 $9.19
Total / 51,301,000 /

1926 Buffalo nickel design has an Indian profile with two feathers in the braided hair on the coin obverse. According to the designer, the portrait doesn’t belong to a particular person but is several tribal chief’s mixtures.

You can notice the word LIBERTY on the right coin edge, in front of the Indian’s profile. The year of minting is on the left side, on his shoulder.

1926 Buffalo nickel

Face value 5 cents ($0.05)
Melt value 0.0612
Compound 75% copper and 25% nickel
Coin weight 0.1764 ounces (5 g)
Coin diameter 0.8346 inches (21.2 mm)
Coin thickness 0.0768 inches (1.95 mm)
Shape Round
Edge Plain

On the 1926 Buffalo nickel reverse is an American buffalo. Many people believe that the model for this design detail was a buffalo from the New York Zoo, known as the Black Diamond, although there is no evidence for this claim.

Above the buffalo, the coin upper edge stretches the motto the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, while above its back is the Latin inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM. Below the buffalo is an inscription FIVE CENTS.

The first coin design on the reverse showed a buffalo standing on a mound. However, this relief stood out above the coin’s surface and quickly showed wear signs. That led to a change in design as early as mid-1913. Instead of a mound, you can see a new design with a straight line under the buffalo’s feet.

 

1926 Buffalo Nickel Types

In 1926, three mints produced this nickel:

  • Philadelphia, nickels without a particular mint mark
  • San Francisco, nickels with an S mint mark
  • Denver, nickels with a D mint mark

These mints produced a total of 51,301,000 Buffalo nickels in 1926. You can differentiate them thanks to the mint mark on the coin reverse below the inscription FIVE CENTS.

1926 Buffalo nickel value*

Quality 1926 1926 S 1926 D
Good $1.39 $23 $11
Very good $1.95 $50 $20
Fine $2.74 $109 $30
Very fine $5.56 $416 $118
Extra fine $11 $1,003 $201
About uncirculated $22 $2,953 $334
MS 60 $35 $5,004 $389
MS 63 $81 $10,284 $520

*by USA Coin book

 

1926 Buffalo nickel with no a mint mark

1926 Buffalo nickel with no a mint mark

1926 Buffalo nickel without a mint mark is a Philadelphia mint product since it didn’t put a mint mark on the coins produced until the 1940s.

1926 Buffalo nickel value*

Year Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
1926 $1.25 $2.5 $10 $20
1926 D $10 $28 $185 $300
1926 S $22 $100 $900 $2,650

*by JM Bullion

The Philadelphia mint produced 44,693,000 these nickels in 1926, making it common. That’s why you can find this coin for an affordable price nowadays.

Approximately $3 is needed to set aside for a coin with a good rating. Still, nickel with a rating of MS 67 can reach a sale price of over $3,000.

 

1926 S Buffalo nickel

1926 S Buffalo nickel

1926 S Buffalo nickel is a San Francisco mint product. Only 970,000 of these coins were produced there this year. That is why this coin is more expensive, and many collectors want to add it to their collection.

1926 Buffalo nickel value*

Year Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
1926 $0. 68 $1.94 $9 $29
1926 D $6.72 $22 $109 $227
1926 S $15 $58 $434 $2,949

*by CoinStudy

If you are lucky enough to find this coin, the money you need to buy it will primarily depend on its condition. You can find a 1926 S Buffalo nickel with a good rating for an affordable price of about $14. Still, a coin with an MS 66 grade can cost over $160,000.

 

1926 D Buffalo nickel

1926 D Buffalo nickel

The Denver mint produced 5,638,000 Buffalo nickels in 1926. This coin, like other Buffalo nickels, is popular with collectors. They are often prepared to spend more money for a piece in an excellent condition.

1926 Buffalo nickel value*

Coin Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
1926 $1.5 to $2 $1.5 to $2 $10 to $11 $22+
1926 S $12 to $14 $55 to $66 $550 to $600 $3,600+
1926 D $6 to $7 $18 to $19 $100 to $110 $225+

             *by Coinflation

You can find good graded 1926 D Buffalo nickel for less than $10. However, the coin price will be significantly higher if it is well preserved and has an MS 67 rating. Such a piece can be yours for approximately $62,000.

 

Buffalo Nickel Rarities

Coins with a flaw or those which appearance deviates from the coin’s standard appearance are fascinating to collectors. Therefore, these coins almost always have a higher value on the market than ordinary specimens. Unfortunately, the 1926 Buffalo nickel has neither rarities nor key dates.

1926 Buffalo nickel value*

Quality 1926 1926 S 1926 D
Good $0.7 $20.9 $9.5
Very good $1.9 $38 $15.2
Fine $2.85 $120 $28.5
Very fine $5.7 $430 $95
Extra fine $9.5 $1,140 $165
Uncirculated $19 $2,850 $260
Brilliant uncirculated $33.25 $4,750 $355
MS 65 $240 $95,000 $4,750

                       *by Hobbizine

 

 

1926 Buffalo Nickel Grading

1926 Buffalo Nickel Grading

Most of the 1926 Buffalo nickels were used for years, so it is necessary to determine their condition before trading. Collectors mostly use the expert’s services from companies that do coin evaluation.

However, some collectors don’t have a budget to hire experts. Therefore, they should know what coin characteristics need to check to approximately estimate their nickel.

Uncirculated – A coin with this rating has never been in circulation. Although almost 100 years old, this coin looks as if it has just come out of the mint. The coin surface shows no signs of wear, the relief details are conspicuous, and you can see the original shine.

1926 Buffalo nickel value*

Quality 1926 1926 S 1926 D
Good $0.43 $17 $7.99
Very good $0.84 $17 $7.18
Fine $1.76 $52 /
Very fine $1.21 / /
Extra fine $4.07 / /

*by Numista

Extra fine – The coin rated in this way shows slight signs of wear because it was in circulation for some time. That has led to the disappearance of the original shine from the surface. You can usually see changes in the Indian’s hair and the buffalo front leg.

Fine – 1926 Buffalo nickel with a fine rating shows clear wear signs since it was in circulation for a long time. You can notice the relief flattening, most noticeable on the Indian head and the buffalo’s bodies and legs.

1926 Buffalo nickel value*

Quality 1926 1926 S 1926 D
Good $0.7 to $0.85 $20.25 to $38.88 $9.79 to $16.85
Very good $0.9 to $1.34 $44.55 to $71 $18.23 to $29.16
Fine $2.65 to $4.86 $74 to $133 $29.7 to $58
Very fine $5.4 to $9.72 $162 to $455 $88 to $130
Extra fine $11.48 to $17.82 $748 to $1,220 $176 to $254
About uncirculated $21.6 to $32.4 $2,000 to $4,100 $292 to 411
MS 60 $29.7 to $35.64 $4,750 to $5,460 $377 to $434
MS 61 $40.5 to $48.6 $5,250 to $6,040 $390 to $448
MS 62 $48.6 to $58 $6,880 to $7,910 $436 to $520
MS 63 $81 to $97 $8,750 to $10,100 $618 to $748
MS 64 $115 to $133 $10,500 to $15,100 $1,310 to $1,620
MS 65 $195 to $234 $84,000 to 114,000 $4,000 to $4,620
MS 66 $488 to $585 $138,000 to $162,000 $8,620 to $10,000
MS 67 $1,620 to $3,120 / $54,000 to $62,100

*by Greysheet

Good – This rating shows a poor coin’s condition. This nickel was in constant circulation so that you could see visible wear signs on its surface. The relief is almost non-existent, while the letters and the minting year are barely legible.

 

Summary

The 1926 Buffalo nickel is valuable for every collection, especially if they are lucky enough to have a coin from the San Francisco or Denver mint. Some of these pieces reach enormous prices at auctions, particularly highly graded 1926 S Buffalo nickel.

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