Introduced in 1913, the Buffalo nickel was very early hit through collectors and also a major circulation workhorse v 1938 once the collection ended. The coins continued to circulate after ~ they to be no much longer produced and also typically were discovered well-worn, occasionally with no clearly shows date.

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Even this particular day one can uncover a nicely circulated instance in change on occasion.

The popularity of the Buffalo nickel is rooted primarily in its architecture by James Earle Fraser v a right-facing profile of an Indian chief in a headdress ~ above the obverse, and also an American bison or buffalo ~ above the reverse.

The Indian ~ above the coin is a composite photo of (at least) three different Native American chiefs, when the bison was based upon Black Diamond, that was hosted in the Central Park Zoo in ~ the time. This motifs additionally tap right into the American romance with the “Wild West” ever due to the fact that the period of development that began in 1803 through the Lewis and also Clark expedition that reached the Pacific Northwest by 1805. The coin’s designer spent a many time in the West once he was cultivation up.

No date Buffalo Nickels

Some Buffalo nickels carry out not have actually a date on castle in the space on the obverse (on the Indian’s shoulder) where days normally appear. In numerous cases, those coins are Type 1 1913 Buffalo nickels whose dates have worn off from heavy use throughout the year of the Great Depression (roughly 1929-39), and also because the original design kind for this coin regularly saw the date rub turn off sooner than it should have actually – a process that typically takes years on various other circulating coins.

On the kind 1 Buffalo nickel, the engraving for the day was put on a raised background on the obverse the made it an ext likely to suffer wear, just as the denomination “FIVE CENTS” shows up on a increased mound listed below the Buffalo on the reverse. On Type 2 nickels the denomination is recessed below the coin’s rim, and other minor modifications were made so the the dates would wear an ext slowly and the coins would certainly strike better.

“Dateless” Buffalo nickels carry out not bring much of a premium – lock are typically worth about 50 cents, or about fifty percent the worth of a usual circulated one v a date. However they make an excellent gifts for children or others beginning off on your numismatic journey. They additionally have a rich background since dateless Buffalo nickels were used to carve initial designs on lock by transient or homeless people artists, especially throughout the Depression, producing what are well-known as Hobo nickels. Today some of those Hobo nickels space worth hundreds of dollars, and also the coins room widely collected.


How much Are Buffalo Nickels Worth?

Type 1 1913 coins space worth $14 in Good-4, $18 in XF-40, $57 in MS63, $120 in MS65, $200 in MS66, and an amazing $8,500 for a rare MS68 example. Branch mint 1913-D and also 1913-S instances are worth more.

Type 2 Coins

Values are lower for common-date type 2 coins since they are more plentiful in mintages and surviving coins. They run $1 in Good-4, $4 in XF-40, $16 in MS60, $26 in MS63, $40 in MS65, $60 in MS66, and also a chuck $12,500 for MS68 coins.


1935 is among the an ext common days with over 58 million coins struck, but examples in high qualities with complete details are scarce, representing much less than 1% of the coins out there. Luster varies for this date, and also since there are so numerous available, you can discover a nice example with some searching.

Values start off ~ above the lower end, similar to the form 2 usual date values noted above until MS65, i m sorry is precious $105, when MS66 is $185, MS67 is $850, and also a super-scarce MS68 is precious $35,000 with just one coin having actually been graded at the level!

Mint-marked 1935-D and 1935-S Buffalo nickels are worth an ext and have not been discovered in MS68. Also, over there is a an useful variety–the 1935 doubled Die–that starts off under $100 in Good, and reaches $550 in XF-40, $3,500 in MS60, and also tops the end at $27,500 in MS65.


1936 nickels were the first coins of your denomination v a mintage end 100 million–118,997,000, to be precise. Contrasted to front coins the this type, lock struck much better and tend to have an excellent eye appeal and also strikes, however examples with complete details are tough to find.

Values are comparable to those because that the 1935 other than at MS65 and over where values space a little lower at $70 MS65, $100 MS66, $500 MS67, and $20,000 MS68.

1936-D and 1936-S have comparable values except mainly for MS67, which space worth $1,500 for both coins.


1937 is a very common date with end 79 million struck, yet as soon as again instances with full details are elusive.

Values are comparable to 1935 and 1936 in the shortest grades, and then native MS63 on are a little lower in ~ $26, $40 because that MS65, $65 because that MS66, $275 for MS67, and also $12,500 for MS68, with just two in that grade and also one in ~ MS68+.


2005 Buffalo Nickels

Did you know there is a modern, 21st-century nickel v a Buffalo top top it?

In 2004 and also 2005 as part of the Westward Journey nickel series that commemorated the bicentennial that the famous Lewis and also Clark exploration of 1805, the United claims Mint exit a series of distinct one-year-only nickels with different designs, including the 2005 Bison nickel. This coin was designed by Jamie Franki, an American artist and also sculptor who formerly served ~ above the Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program and also teaches art and art background in North Carolina.

Because end 487 million were minted and also the coins room still uncovered in change, they are just worth confront value uneven they’re in high Mint State, specifically MS66 and up. Graded Mint State coins space worth about $26 because that MS65, $70 because that MS66, and also an outstanding $1,000 for MS67!

These coins were also issued v Satin and Proof finishes.

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There is also the scarce “Speared Bison” variety 2005 nickel, which has actually a die gouge v the bison’s back, and which space worth numerous hundred dollars each ($160 in MS63 and also $275 in MS64). Lock are an extremely rare in MS66 through the record being one that sold for $1,265 in 2010.