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

Buffalo nickels were minted from 1913 to 1938. Nowadays, you can determine Buffalo nickel value only by mintmark, the minting date, and its condition. Since these coins are relatively rare, even a heavily worn coin is worth well above face value if it has a readable date.

History

James Earle Fraser designed the Buffalo (Indian Head) nickel. Its obverse had a Native American rustic design, and the reverse was with an American Buffalo. The US Mint featured the first Buffalo nickel variety standing on dirt, with a ‘5 cents’ denomination placed on the top.

Unfortunately, such a design flaw caused the denomination to wear off prematurely, so it was changed in 1913. New coins got a denomination recessed below their rim.

The US mint produced 71 regular-issue Buffalo nickels at three places so that you can find three different mint marks:

  • Philadelphia without a mint mark
  • San Francisco with S mint mark
  • Denver with D mint mark

Since Buffalo nickels don’t contain precious metals, their value has been relatively stable over several years.

Buffalo nickel value from 1913 to 1938 by CoinStudy, 9/6/2021

Year Mintage Mint state Good quality Fine quality Extra fine quality
1913 Type 1 30,993,520 $24 $7 $10 $16
1913 S Type 1 2,105,000 $86 $31 $38 $51
1913 D Type 1 5,337,000 $44 $11 $15 $26
1913 Type 2 29,858,700 $23 $8 $13 $15
1913 S Type 2 1,209,000 $466 $163 $234 $259
1913 D Type 2 4,156,000 $167 $94 $116 $153
1914 20,665,738 $46 $14 $18 $24
1914 S 3,470,000 $107 $19 $32 $67
1914 D 3,912,000 $243 $62 $88 $195
1915 20,987,270 $43 $3 $7 $14
1915 S 1,505,000 $362 $29 $55 $214
1915 D 7,569,500 $131 $15 $30 $86
1916 63,498,066 $35 $3.4 $5 $10
1916 S 11,860,000 $120 $7.5 $15 $57
1916 D 13,333,000 $122 $11 $22 $57
1917 51,424,029 $40 $4 $5.5 $10
1917 S 4,193,000 $500 $15 $57 $114
1917 D 9,910,800 $252 $14 $35 $90
1918 32,086,314 $97 $4 $5.5 $16
1918 S 4,882,000 $865 $10 $41 $124
1918 D 8,362,314 $317 $16 $44 $163
1918/1917 D ? rare $378 $$1,144 rare
1919 60,868,000 $40 $1.5 $3.5 $10
1919 S 7,521,000 $417 $6 $37 $183
1919 D 8,006,000 $544 $12 $51 $118
1920 63,093,000 $44 $1 $2 $12
1920 S 9,689,000 $492 $3 $18 $110
1920 D 9,418,000 $436 $6 $23 $177
1921 10,663,000 $95 $2.5 $5 $36
1921 S 1,557,000 $1,524 $44 $114 $410
1923 35,715,000 $45 $1.5 $3 $10
1923 S 6,142,000 $320 $5 $27 $162
1924 21,620,000 $46 $1 $3 $14
1924 S 1,437,000 $1,170 $11 $63 $320
1924 D 5,258,000 $301 $5.5 $21 $125
1925 35,565,100 $36 $1.5 $3 $14
1925 S 6,256,000 $514 $3 $13 $119
1925 D 4,450,000 $271 $7 $27 $95
1926 44,693,000 $29 $0.7 $2 $9
1926 S 970,000 $2,949 $15 $58 $434
1926 D 5,638,000 $227 $7 $22 $109
1927 37,981,000 $29 $0.6 $1.5 $9
1927 S 3,430,000 $937 $1 $3 $63
1927 D 5,730,000 $119 $2 $5 $53
1928 23,411,000 $28 $0.8 $2 $10
1928 S 6,936,000 $165 $0.9 $2 $23
1928 D 6,436,000 $42 $0.7 $3 $27
1929 36,446,000 $32 $0.7 $2 $12
1929 S 7,754,000 $36 $0.7 $1.7 $8.5
1929 D 8,370,000 $51 $0.7 $2 $25
1930 22,849,000 $29 $0.7 $1.5 $9
1930 S 5,435,000 $36 $0.8 $2 $10
1931 S 1,200,000 $40 $10 $12 $19
1934 20,213,003 $34 $0.7 $2 $8
1934 D 7,480,000 $61 $1.5 $3 $16
1935 58,264,000 $18 $0.5 $1 $2.5
1935 S 10,300,000 $32 $0.5 $1 $3
1935 D 12,092,000 $38 $0.7 $2 $15
1936 119,001,420 $19 $0.5 $1 $2.5
1936 S 14,930,000 $24 $0.5 $1 $2.5
1936 D 24,814,000 $22 $0.5 $1 $3
1937 79,485,769 $19 $0.5 $1 $2.5
1937 S 5,635,000 $18 $0.5 $1 $3.5
1937 D 17,826,000 $20 $0.5 $1 $3
1937 D 3 legs ? $1,107 $232 $270 $428
1938 D 7,020,000 $19 $1 $2 $4

Determine Buffalo Nickel Value

Determine Buffalo Nickel Value

Once you want to determine Buffalo nickel value, you should pass through three steps, including:

Determining date and mintmark – It is crucial to locate the mintmark and identify the minting date before checking the value chart.

Grading condition – The coin condition will significantly affect its value. You can use images, check YouTube videos, and detailed descriptions to determine the approximate coin grade. However, only an expert can give you the real value.

Special qualities – Most collectors appreciate varieties, so you should check your coin and try to recognize the most appreciated qualities. Keep in mind that some of them can significantly increase the coin price.

Buffalo nickel value from 1913 to 1938 by JM Bullion, 8/6/2021

Year Uncirculated Good quality Fine quality Extra fine quality
1913 Type 1 $35 $12 $16 $25
1913 S Type 1 $110 $45 $60 $90
1913 D Type 1 $60 $15 $24 $42
1913 Type 2 $30 $10 $14 $22
1913 S Type 2 $750 $340 $450 $600
1913 D Type 2 $260 $120 $175 $235
1914 $45 $20 $25 $35
1914 S $160 $26 $45 $90
1914 D $400 $90 $160 $325
1915 $45 $6 $9 $25
1915 S $500 $50 $115 $400
1915 D $160 $20 $40 $130
1916 $25 $6 $8 $15
1916 S $125 $10 $20 $90
1916 D $120 $16 $30 $90
1917 $35 $8 $10 $16
1917 S $375 $22 $75 $200
1917 D $275 $18 $50 $150
1918 $50 $6 $8 $32
1918 S $325 $14 $55 $200
1918 D $350 $22 $65 $225
1919 $32 $2 $3.5 $15
1919 S $350 $15 $75 $260
1919 D $325 $8 $32 $275
1920 $30 $1.5 $3 $14
1920 S $300 $4.5 $28 $200
1920 D $436 $6 $23 $177
1921 $75 $4 $8 $50
1921 S $1,200 $75 $200 $950
1923 $35 $2 $4 $13
1923 S $400 $8 $30 $300
1924 $42 $1.5 $5 $24
1924 D $325 $8 $30 $235
1925 $32 $3 $4 $15
1925 S $250 $5 $18 $180
1925 D $265 $10 $40 $185
1926 $20 $1 $2.5 $10
1926 S $2,650 $25 $100 $900
1926 D $300 $10 $28 $185
1927 $21 $1 $2.5 $12
1927 S $185 $1.5 $5 $95
1927 D $135 $2.5 $7 $80
1928 $23 $1 $2.5 $13
1928 S $110 $2 $2.5 $26
1928 D $50 $1.5 $5 $45
1929 $20 $1 $2.5 $12
1929 S $25 $1.5 $2 $12
1929 D $23 $1.5 $2.5 $13
1930 $20 $1 $2.5 $11
1930 S $35 $1 $2.5 $14
1931 S $55 $15 $20 $35
1934 $18 $1 $2.5 $10
1934 D $45 $1.5 $4 $20
1935 $10 $1 $2 $3
1935 S $18 $1 $2 $4
1935 D $42 $1 $2.5 $18
1936 $9 $1 $2 $3
1936 S $12 $1 $2 $4
1936 D $12 $1 $2 $4
1937 $9 $1 $2 $3
1937 S $9 $1 $2 $5
1937 D $10 $1 $2 $4
1938 D $8 $3.5 $4.5 $5

Besides 71 regular-issue Buffalo nickels, the US Mint produced seven proofs and numerous varieties. Most of them still exist, and they are rarely too expensive. On the other hand, coins in uncirculated MS 64 and MS 65 conditions can be costly and are often rare.

Rare Buffalo Nickel Value

Rare Buffalo Nickel Value

Rare Buffalo nickels, varieties (special or error coins somehow different from other coins produced the same year), or those with key dates (coins with a low mintage) are highly valuable. In most cases, collectors are prepared to spend huge amounts of money to get hold of them.

Rare Buffalo nickel value from 1913 to 1938 by COIN HelpU

Quality Coins
1914/1913 over date 1916 double die obverse 1918 D 8/7 over date 1935 double die reverse 1936 D 3 ½ legs 1937 D 3 legs
Good / $3,612 $905 $42 / $356
Very good $283 $6,420 $1,624 $67 $1,175 $528
Fine $432 $8,875 $2,343 $91 $1,423 $617
Very fine $652 $13,512 $5,066 $301 $1,710 $646
Extra fine $764 $20,843 $7,474 $580 $3,334 $779
About uncirculated $1,494 $30,331 $17,393 $1,667 $4,504 $1,214
MS 63 $3,737 $160,000 $44,319 $5,462 / $5,246
MS 65 $18,400 / $224,250 $25,300 / $32,631

Be careful since you can often find these coins counterfeit or altered. Therefore, it is crucial to have it tested.

Proof Buffalo Nickels

Believe it or not, you can find only seven proof Buffalo nickels. Proof coins are those specially made for archival purposes or checking matrices. They have sharp details with a unique brilliant surface.

Proof 63 Buffalo nickels value

Coins Year Price
Proof, variety I 1913 $1,350
Proof, variety II 1913 $1,000
Proof 1914 $800
Proof 1915 $900
Proof 1916 $1,200
Proof 1936 $1,000
Proof 1937 $950

Keep in mind that the term ‘proof’ doesn’t indicate the coin condition but the way of their production or manufacturing. Poof Buffalo nickels in an average Proof 63 grade are highly collectible, so it is worth making an effort to find one.

Summary

As you can see, typical Buffalo nickel prices will range only a few dollars. On the other hand, uncirculated coins with key dates can grade thousands of dollars. If you find one of those nickels, it is time to research and check whether you are the lucky one.

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