Buffalo Nickel Values and Price Charts (1913–1938)

1937-S Buffalo nickel 1937-S buffalo nickels values by year nickel. visualize : united states army CoinBook

Date Variety Price
1913-S Variety I, Mound $50
1913-D Variety II, Line $125
1913-S Variety II $350
1914 4 Over 3 $225
1914-D n/a $100
1915-S n/a $60
1916 Doubled Die $3,000
1918-D 8 Over 7 $1,250
1921-S n/a $90
1935 Doubled Die Reverse $50
1936-D 3-1/2 Legs $550
1937-D 3-Legged $575

Buffalo nickels that are not included on the list above are more common. They are worth much less in circulated grades.

circulated Buffalo nickels circulate american bison nickel. persona : CC-BY-SA-4.0 via Wikimedia commonalty

Date Price Notes
1913 $10 Variety I
1913-D $15 Variety I
1913 $10 Variety II
1914 $20 n/a
1914-S $25 n/a
1915 $5 n/a
1915-D $25 n/a
1916 $5.50 n/a
1916-D $20 n/a
1916-S $12 n/a
1917 $7 n/a
1917-D $25 n/a
1917-S $28 n/a
1918 $5.50 n/a
1918-D $25 n/a
1918-S $20 n/a
1919 $2.50 n/a
1919-D $20 n/a
1919-S $15 n/a
1920 $1.50 n/a
1920-D $10 n/a
1920-S $7 n/a
1921 $4 n/a
1923 $2.50 n/a
1923-S $7.50 n/a
1924 $1.50 n/a
1924-D $10 n/a
1924-S $20 n/a
1925 $3 n/a
1925-D $12 n/a
1925-S $7 n/a
1926 $1.50 n/a
1926-D $12 n/a
1926-S $30 n/a
1927 $1.50 n/a
1927-D $4 n/a
1927-S $2 n/a
1928–1937-S $1.25 Except 1931-S and others listed above
1938-D $3 n/a
1938-D $5.50 D Over S

##Proof Buffalo Nickel Values (Chart)##

Proof coins are made specifically for collectors. They exhibit sharper details, an eye-catching finish, and are made in limited quantities.

The United States Mint made a handful of Buffalo nickels in proof before a 20-year hiatus on producing these specially struck coins.

By the time the U.S. Mint resumed making proof coins in 1936, the Buffalo nickel series was already winding down. In all, there are only seven different proof issues among all Buffalo nickels.

Here’s a look at the different proof Buffalo nickels and what they’re worth in an average grade of Proof-63:

Date Type Price
1913 Variety I, Proof $1,350
1913 Variety II, Proof $1,000
1914 Proof $800
1915 Proof $900
1916 Proof $1,200
1936 Proof $1,000
1937 Proof $950

*All values listed above are for coins in typical condition that are not cleaned, damaged, or otherwise impaired. Pieces that are cleaned or otherwise damaged are worth less than the values listed above.*

###A Note About Valuable Coins###

The most valuable coins in a given series are the key dates and varieties. These are the most challenging coins to obtain regardless of their grade.

A “key date” is usually a coin with a low mintage. Less of them were made in a particular year. This is why collectors will pay more for key date coins.

Varieties are subsets of a given year’s issuance of a coin. Something special or out-of-place, such as an error, makes a variety stand out from the rest of the coins produced in that year.

Much like key dates, varieties will have lower production numbers than their common counterparts.

The preceding price chart is a list of those pieces for the Buffalo nickel series and what they’re worth in well-circulated condition.

##Buffalo Nickel Series Highlights##

Buffalo nickels were struck from 1913 through 1938. They are among the most popular 20th-century United States coins around.

The coin depicts a Native American chief on the obverse and an American bison (or “buffalo”) on the reverse. This five-cent coin is beloved for its [classic Old West imagery](products/171040/the-hunter-1-oz-silver-round-gainesville-coins-exclusive).

1913 Mound type (Type I) Buffalo nickel 1913 type one ( mound ) buffalo nickel. trope : united states CoinBookgold buffalo coin

american english gold buffalo coin, the inaugural .9999 fine aureate mint write out aside the united states mint per annum1935 buffalo nickel 1935 buffalo nickel

* Build a short set. Many collectors narrow down their Buffalo nickel sets to only the most common dates. This includes coins struck between 1934 through 1938.

This significantly reduces the number of coins necessary to complete a set. Oftentimes those who pursue this short set will prefer quality over quantity. That means only going after higher-grade examples.

* Assemble a year set. A collector may seek one example from each year, regardless of mintmark. This is in lieu of chasing after each date-and-mintmark combination.

You can build a set of Buffalo nickels spanning the entire series run without breaking the bank. A year set can help a collector avoid virtually all of the expensive semi-key and key dates.

* Focus on only regular-issue business strike coins (not varieties). Finishing a more challenging set complete with varieties and proofs gets very costly. Collectors may find a happy medium by building a regular-issue run of business-strikes.

This would still be a pretty expensive endeavor! But such a set lacks the super-expensive varieties such as the 1916 doubled die and 1937 3-legged nickels.

Most Buffalo nickels only really become collectible when the date is at least partially visible. Basically that translates into an example grading About Good-3 to Good-4.

Many hobbyists prefer that the bison exhibits a full horn. This is usually seen at a grade of Very Fine-20 or higher.

Regardless of the coin’s grade, the nicer the piece, the stronger chance it improves in value down the line.

Besides, high-quality coins are simply more desirable than subpar pieces. Numismatists always find more satisfaction with coins boasting high-quality surfaces and overall excellent eye appeal.


*Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez is a journalist, editor, and blogger who has won multiple awards from the Numismatic Literary Guild. He has also authored numerous books, including works profiling the history of the United States Mint and United States coinage.*

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