How Much is an 1927 Buffalo Nickel Worth? (Price Chart)

The US Mint has struck a wide coin variety throughout its history, and many of them are highly collectible. Five-cent pieces typically have a high mintage, and they are still abundant on the current coin market. As you can expect, their value is often low so that anyone can make a beautiful collection for an affordable price.

Buffalo nickels minted from 1913 to1938 are among the most famous American coins. Since these pieces are more than a century old, finding the one in decent condition is pretty hard. Therefore, you can expect the 1927 Nickel value to increase in the future, making this coin an excellent investment.

1927 Buffalo Nickel History

The Buffalo nickels (Indian head nickels) were in production from 1913 to 1938 and belonged to the group of the most popular 5-cent coins the US Mint ever produced. They were minted in Denver, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.

1927 Buffalo Nickel

Location Year Minted Value
Philadelphia 1927 37,981,000 $1.9
San Francisco 1927 S 3,430,000 $3.2
Denver 1927 D 5,730,000 $6.5
Total / 47,141,000 /

The minting started on February 22, 1913, but the first coins officially came into circulation in March. Forty of them were given to the Native American chiefs attending the groundbreaking ceremony in New York for the National American Indian Memorial.

Initially, the buffalo stood on a mound of dirt, but chief engraver Charles Barber was concerned about the dies that wore out fast during the minting process. As a result, the coin was quickly redesigned and replaced.

Unfortunately, all the effort was useless since the dies wore out even faster. That is why it is almost impossible to find this coin in pristine condition.

1927 Buffalo Nickel

Face value 5 cents ($0.05)
Melt value $0.0623
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

American sculptor James Earl Fraser designed this coin with the Indian head on the obverse and an American bison on the reverse. The Native American facing right was the portrait of three tribal chiefs, while the model for buffalo was probably Black Diamond from the New York City Zoo.

1927 Buffalo Nickel value*

Quality 1927 1927 S 1927 D
Good $1.39 $1.67 $2.74
Very good $1.95 $3.22 $6.48
Fine $2.74 $5.56 $7.69
Very fine $4.41 $37 $35
Extra fine $13 $104 $89
About uncirculated $23 $201 $145
MS 60 $38 $593 $212
MS 63 $89 $2,222 $343

*by USA Coin book

You can see a LIBERTY inscription on the obverse right side, and the 1927 year struck below the Indian’s neck. On the coin reverse is the buffalo with the UNITED STATE OF AMERICA above and a ​small inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM in the right corner.

The denomination FIVE CENTS is placed under the buffalo’s legs. You can find a letter D or S on the lower coin edge, except for coins minted in Philadelphia that don’t have the mint mark. It depends on the mint that produced the particular nickel type.

 

1927 Buffalo Nickel Types

Buffalo nickel value has been stable over the last years. Since this coin doesn’t contain precious metals, market fluctuations won’t affect its price.

1927 Buffalo nickel

1927 Buffalo nickel
Image

Precisely 37,981,000 Buffalo nickels were struck in Philadelphia in 1927, making mintage in that year similar to every other year during the 1920s. After this year, almost every following regular issue was common.

1927 Buffalo Nickel value*

Year Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
1927 $1.25 $2.5 $12 $21
1927 S $1.50 $5 $95 $185
1927  D $2.50 $7 $80 $135

*by JM Bullion

If you look for a piece in a decent condition, you can buy one for only a dollar or two. Only specimens in high grades can be worth a couple of hundred dollars.

1927 S Buffalo nickel

1927 S Buffalo nickel

Since the San Francisco mint struck 3,430,000 S Buffalo nickels in 1927, you can expect that an average coin is worth approximately $3. However, well-preserved pieces often attract many bidders and reach high prices at auctions.

1927 Buffalo Nickel value

Year Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
1927 $0.60 $1.35 $9 $25
1927 D $2.07 $5 $60 $164
1927 S $1.11 $3 $62 $862

*by CoinStudy

For instance, the Heritage Auction Galleries sold one well-struck specimen in the MS 66 grade for $125,350 in 2008.

1927 D Buffalo nickel

1927 D Buffalo nickel

The Denver mint struck 5,730,000 of these nickels in 1927, but only a limited number is saved in the mint condition. You can buy most coins for approximately $6.5, but an uncirculated specimen typically reaches the price of $135.

1927 Buffalo Nickel value*

Coin Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
1927 $1.50 to $2.00 $1.50 to $2.00 $10.00 to $11.00 $24+
1927 S $1.00 to $1.25 $2.50 to $3.00 $55.00 to $60.00 $425+
1927 D $1.00 to $1.25 $2.50 to $3.00 $50.00 to $55.00 $130+

*by Coinflation

 

1927 Buffalo Nickel Rarities and Key Dates

1927 Buffalo Nickel Rarities and Key Dates

There are neither rarities nor key dates among Buffalo nickels minted this particular year. Even though the 1927 S coin is considered semi-common in lower grades, those in high condition are rare and expensive.

1927 Buffalo Nickel value*

Quality 1927 1927 S 1927 D
Good $1 $1.5 $2
Very good $1.5 $3 $6
Fine $2 $6 $11
Very fine $4 $38 $38
Extra fine $12 $116 $67
About uncirculated $33 $209 $128
MS 63 $78 $1,874 $334
MS 65 $291 $9,925 $6,267

*by COIN HelpU

In fact, this nickel is scarce in mint state and is the rarest in Gem condition, besides the 1920 S, 1925 S, and 1926 S Buffalos.

 

1927 Buffalo Nickel Grading

1927 Buffalo Nickel Grading

The best way to grade the 1927 Buffalo nickel is to send it to a professional grading service, like the NGC or PCGS. However, you can roughly estimate your specimen value by following basic guidelines for assessing the coin condition.

Uncirculated – Such a coin was immediately placed into safekeeping or never released into circulation. That way, such a piece was protected and stayed intact by now. You can’t see any possible sign of wear on its surface, and even original luster has been retained through the years.

1927 Buffalo Nickel value*

Quality 1927 1927 S 1927 D
Good $0.7 $1.9 $1.9
Very good $1.9 $2.8 $5.7
Fine $2.85 $3.8 $7.6
Very fine $$4.7 $4.7 $28.5
Extra fine $11.4 $23.7 $76
Uncirculated $19 $28.5 $120
Brilliant uncirculated $33 $48 $190
MS 65 $285 $475 $16,625

*by Hobbizine

Extra fine – You can see some evidence that this coin was in use for a while, but it was withdrawn from circulation before becoming too damaged.

Such a piece is beautiful, but you can find a loss of fine details around the Indian’s hair braid. It is possible to notice light signs of wear and scratches on the coin surface, but it is actually in excellent condition.

Fine – It is a standard grade for nickels circulated for a short time. You will see some signs of wear, particularly near the Indian’s cheekbone and the buffalo’s front legs, but without any significant damage. Design details, dates, and letters are clearly visible in most cases.

1927 Buffalo Nickel value*

Quality 1927 1927 S 1927 D 1927 D 3 1/2
Good $0.7 to $0.85 $1.9 to $2.33 $2.65 to $5.67 $108 to $140
Very good $0.9 to $1.34 $2.15 to $4.86 $6.75 to $9.23 $130 to $172
Fine $2.15 to $3.73 $6.75 to $16.2 $9.45 to $21 $208 to $262
Very fine $4 to $8.1 $36.45 to $75 $33.75 to $62 $260 to $486
Extra fine $12.15 to $17.8 $94 to $148 $84 to $118 $585 to $822
AU $21.6 to $34 $243 to $635 $128 to 187 $910 to $1,440
MS 60 $35.1 to $42.12 $910 to $1,030 $169 to $203 $3,120 to $3,590
MS 61 $40.5 to $48.6 $1,020 to $1,180 $185 to $228 $4,380 to $5,030
MS 62 $49.95 to $60 $1,560 to $1,880 $247 to $284 $6,250 to $7,190
MS 63 $78 to $94 $2,250 to $2,620 $390 to $455 /
MS 64 $115 to $133 $2,750 to $4,000 $858 to $1,020 /
MS 65 $247 to $299 $11,200 to 16,800 $3,500 to $4,020 /
MS 66 $494 to $568 $78,000 to $96,000 $18,000 to $20,700 /
MS 67 $3,750 to $6,120 / / /

*by Greysheet

Good – It is the worst condition one collectible coin can get after spending years in use. All lettering edges are flattened, mainly next to the coin rim, plus you can see flat areas over the Indian’s head and shoulder and the buffalo’s body.

It is not rare to spot physical damage, including chipping, scratching, and bending on this piece, making it pretty unattractive for experienced collectors.

 

Summary

Three mints produced more than 47 million Buffalo nickels in 1927, making them ordinary pieces on the coin market. You should know that most were poorly struck, so it can be tricky to find a well-preserved, decent specimen for the collection. However, it can pay off since well-struck coins in the mint state can be worth more money.

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