15 Most Valuable Buffalo Nickels: Complete Value Guide

What’s the most valuable buffalo nickel? How much is a buffalo nickel worth, and what determines its value? All good questions — but the only way to find out for sure is to use this guide.

Finding valuable buffalo nickels is like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for coin collectors. It is a time-consuming and challenging endeavor, but if you know what to look for it can be done. This guide will show you 15 of the most valuable buffalo nickels on the market, what makes them valuable and their current values.

The History Of Buffalo Nickels

The Buffalo nickel, designed by sculptor James Earle Fraser, was minted in 1913 and remained in production until 1938. In 1911, James Earle Fraser was commissioned by the Taft Administration to create a new design that would replace Charles E. Barber’s Liberty Head design for the Nickel. The committee was impressed and thought Fraser’s design showing a Native American on the obverse and an American bison on the reverse was best for the coin.

The designs were approved in 1912, but the project was delayed for several months due to objections from Hobbs Manufacturing Company. However, despite the objections of many who believed the coins were ugly or not right, Treasury Secretary Franklin MacVeagh decided to issue them anyway in February 1913.

The first coins were distributed on the 22nd day of February in the year 1913. On March 4, 1913, the United States Mint officially released the Indian Head nickel to circulation. The new design quickly gained positive comments from the public.

The Buffalo nickel had a few design changes in 1916, including an emphasis on the word “LIBERTY” and a slight repositioning of that word.

15 Most Valuable Buffalo Nickels Worth So Much

Which Buffalo Nickels Are Worth Money?

Here’s a fact “All buffalo nickels are worth money” the million-dollar question is what are the most valuable ones? Here’s a table that shows you some of the rarest and highly-priced buffalo nickels.

No
Year
Name
Grade
Price Sold
1
1918 D
1918 D Buffalo Nickel: 8 Over 7
MS65
$264,500.00
2
1916 P
1916 P Buffalo Nickel: Doubled Die Obverse
MS64
$264,500.00
3
1913 S
1913 S Buffalo Nickel
PR66
$192,000.00
4
1917 S
1917 S Buffalo Nickel
MS67
$138,000.00
5
1919 S
1919 S Buffalo Nickel
MS66
$109,250.00
6
1926 S
1926 S Buffalo Nickel
MS65
$105,750.00
7
1920 D
1920 D Buffalo Nickel
MS66
$97,750.00
8
1937 D
1937 D Buffalo Nickel: 3 Legs
MS67
$85,187.50
9
1923 S
1923 S Buffalo Nickel
MS66
$67,562.50
10
1929 P
1929 P Buffalo Nickel
MS67
$63,250.00
11
1925 D
1925 D Buffalo Nickel
MS66
$57,500.00
12
1935 P
1935 P Buffalo Nickel
MS68
$57,500.00
13
1937 D
1937 D Buffalo Nickel : 3 Legs
MS66
$54,625.00
14
1915 S
1915 S Buffalo Nickel
PR69
$52,900.00
15
1917 D
1917 D Buffalo Nickel
MS66
$10,925.00

1. 1918 D Buffalo Nickel: 8 Over 7  $264,500

Year: 1918

Grade: MS65

Price: $264,500

1. 1918 D Buffalo Nickel 8 Over 7  $264,500

The U.S. Mints produced a staggering number of coins in 1917 and 1918. The mint’s increased production occurred in response to the public’s apparent hoarding of small denomination coinage, which was in turn caused by the export of a large volume of small change overseas.

This 1918 D Buffalo Nickel struck over a 1917 D cent is a very valuable and rare error coin. We do not know how many of these errors were made, but if you are lucky enough to find any, then you might be right on your way to riches. An average 1918 D Buffalo Nickel is worth $1,713. MS-60 and MS-63 range from $38,819 to $64,395 in Uncirculated conditions which is almost impossible to find.

1918/7-D 5C MS65 Sold on Jan 7, 2010 for: $264,500.00

2. 1916 P Buffalo Nickel: Doubled Die Obverse $264,500

Year: 1916 

Grade: MS64

Price:  $264,500

2. 1916 P Buffalo Nickel Doubled Die Obverse $264,500

Here’s another US coin worthy of being on our list of most valuable Buffalo Nickels. The 1916 Buffalo Nickel is a Doubled Die Obverse error coin. This is a rare error, but it can be spotted by the doubled year on the coin.

Although people today realize the error in the 1916 Buffalo Nickel, it remained unknown for more than four decades after its production. An average 1916 Buffalo Nickel is worth $4,507. In Uncirculated MS condition, it is worth $68,399 to $159,442 depending on the pristine state. It is quite hard and almost impossible to find this coin, that’s why even a not so pristine coin would be worth thousands of dollars.

1916 5C Doubled Die Obverse MS64 Sold on Sep 22, 2005 for: $264,500.00

3. 1913 S Buffalo Nickel $192,000

Year: 1913

Grade: PR66

Price:  $192,000

3. 1913 S Buffalo Nickel $192,000

The 1913 Buffalo nickel is a fascinating coin because of the six variations and three mints involved in its production. However, In order to appraise a 1913 nickel’s worth, you must consider the coin’s type, mintmark, and overall condition.

The 1913 S Buffalo Nickel is one of the most valuable in the series. According to the USA coin book, this coin is worth $454 in average condition and the value obviously goes higher in Uncirculated MS Condition which could be worth $1,028 to $1,226 or more. But that’s not all, on the 23rd of April 2021, a 1913 Buffalo Nickel in PR66 condition was sold at an auction for $192,000 making it one of the most valuable Buffalo Nickels ever minted.

1913 5C Buffalo Nickel PR66 Sold on Apr 23, 2021 for: $192,000.00

4. 1917 S Buffalo Nickel $138,000

Year: 1917

Grade: MS67

Price: $138,000

4. 1917 S Buffalo Nickel $138,000

Another valuable Buffalo Nickel that made it to our list is the 1917 S Buffalo Nickel. It was minted in San Francisco and with a total mintage of 4,193,000, you can tell that a lot of these coins went into circulation. However, some of them were reserved and today they’re worth thousands.

Speaking of being “worth thousands” On the 31st of July, 2008 an MS67 1917-S 5C graded by PCGS sold in an auction for $138,000. However, on average, this coin is worth $45 and the value in Uncirculated MS condition ranges from $507 to $1,318.

1917-S 5C MS67 Sold on Jul 31, 2008 for: $138,000.00

5. 1919 S Buffalo Nickel  $109,250

Year: 1919

Grade: MS66

Price: $109,250

5. 1919 S Buffalo Nickel  $109,250

The year 1919 was a significant year in US history, troops returned home from war, it was the same year that saw the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, it was also the same year that the now valuable 1919 Buffalo Nickel was minted at San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Denver.

The 1919-S is a rare coin in circulated grades, it is rarer still in Mint State and a very high rarity in Gem condition thus making it one of the most valuable Buffalo Nickels. There are many popular series in the Buffalo nickel series, but most of the rarest are from the San Francisco mint. The 1919-S Buffalo Nickel is worth $23 in average condition and worth $689 to $1,981 in Uncirculated MS condition.

1919-S 5C MS66 Sold on Oct 24, 2006 for: $109,250.00

6. 1926 S Buffalo Nickel $105,750

Year: 1926

Grade: MS65

Price: $105,750

6. 1926 S Buffalo Nickel $105,750

1926? Yes, Even the later years editions of the Buffalo Nickel are still valuable. On the 27th of September, 2013. A 1926 S Buffalo Nickel graded by PCGS as MS65 was sold at an auction for a whooping $105,750 which is quite a lot for a five cent coin.

The rarity of this coin is what makes it valuable. Finding the 1926 S Buffalo Nickel in average condition is very hard, in higher conditions it is almost impossible to find. The value of 1926-S Buffalo nickels in average condition is $51; its value in uncirculated (MS+) mint condition can range from $5,128 to $10,502 or higher.

1926-S 5C MS65 Sold on Sep 27, 2013 for: $105,750.00

7. 1920 D Buffalo Nickel $97,750

Year: 1920

Grade: MS66

Price: $97,750

7. 1920 D Buffalo Nickel $97,750

In the year 1920, a total number of 9,418,000 Buffalo Nickels were minted at the Denver mint. All the coins carried the D mint mark on the reverse. Despite this number, this coin today has become one of the most rare and sought after coins. Its value has appreciated over the years. In an auction, an MS66 condition coin was sold for $97,750.00 which is quite high for a “five cent coin” but completely understandable.

According to the USA coin book. The value of a 1920-D Buffalo Nickel is $17 in average condition but can be worth $657 or more in mint condition.

1920-D 5C MS66 Sold on Mar 15, 2007 for: $97,750.00

8. 1937 D Buffalo Nickel: 3 Legs $85,187.50

Year: 1937

Grade: MS67

Price: $85,187.50

8. 1937 D Buffalo Nickel 3 Legs $85,187.50

This is one of the error coins in the Buffalo Nickel Series that is very valuable. While many error-prone coins have been discovered, you may recognize the “3 legs” error on the 1937 D 3 Legs Buffalo Nickel if you look at the buffalo’s legs. There will be 3 solid legs, but one of the legs will be clearly missing.

If you have a 1937-D Buffalo Nickel (3 Legs Variety) in average condition, it could be worth $721. If you have it in uncirculated (MS+) mint condition, it could be worth between $2,813 and $5,842 according to the USA Coin Book. Finding one of these in pristine condition would be very difficult.

1937-D 5C Three-Legged MS67 Sold on Apr 28, 2016 for: $85,187.50

9. 1923 S Buffalo Nickel $67,562.50

Year: 1923

Grade: MS66

Price: $67,562.50

9. 1923 S Buffalo Nickel $67,562.50

The 1923-S Buffalo nickel is a relatively scarce coin with a mintage of about 6.1 million, it’s pretty hard to find. You can expect to find the estimated value of a 1923-S Buffalo Nickel in average condition to be about $11 and for a 1923-S Buffalo Nickel in mint condition to be worth between $658 and $1,028. This price is not based on a standard grading scale. We consider this coin to be in about the same condition as other coins issued around the same time.

Higher grades are almost impossible to find, but they are quite valuable. On the 6th of June 2013, a 1923-S 5C MS66 graded by PCGS was sold at an auction for $67,562.50 making it one of the highest 1923 S Buffalo Nickels sold for the amount.

1923-S 5C MS66 Sold on Jun 6, 2013 for: $67,562.50

10. 1929 P Buffalo Nickel $63,250

Year: 1929

Grade: MS67

Price: $63,250

10. 1929 P Buffalo Nickel $63,250

All Buffalo Nickels made in the Philadelphia mint do not have the P mintmark. However, that doesn’t stop this 1929 P coin from being one of the most valuable Buffalo Nickels ever minted in U.S history.

This coin has a total mintage of 36,446,000, regardless, finding one of these in pristine condition is nearly impossible and this is why the coin is highly valued. On the 5th of May, 2005, a 1929 P Buffalo Nickel in MS67 condition was sold for $63,250. Finding another coin like this in pristine condition is almost impossible. Average conditions might be possible to find.

1929 5C MS67 Sold on May 5, 2005 for: $63,250.00

11. 1925 D Buffalo Nickel $54,625

Year: 1925

Grade: MS66

Price: $54,625

11. 1925 D Buffalo Nickel $54,625

People view the 1925-D Buffalo nickel as a challenging coin that is difficult to locate in well-struck conditions. Making it worthy of being on our list of 15 Most Valuable Buffalo Nickels. The estimated value of the rare 1925-D Buffalo Nickel is roughly $23 in average condition but can reach between $454 and $847 or more in uncirculated mint condition which is hard to find.

A 1925-D 5C MS66 graded by NGC was sold in an auction on the 9th of August, 2007 for $57,500. The 1925-D Buffalo nickel is relatively scarce across all grades and thus very valuable.

1925-D 5C MS66 Sold on Aug 9, 2007 for: $54,625.00

12. 1935 P Buffalo Nickel $54,625

Year: 1935

Grade: MS68

Price: $54,625

12. 1935 P Buffalo Nickel $54,625

The 1935 P Buffalo Nickel is also worthy of being on our list of most valuable buffalo nickels. Although 58,264,000 of these coins were minted at the Philadelphia Mint, it is still classified as a rarity especially when on the lookout for MS60 or MS63 and above conditions.

An estimated value of a 1935 Buffalo nickel in average condition is US$1.71 and can be worth $24 to $51 or more in uncirculated (MS+) mint condition. However, on the 3rd of January, 2007 a 1935 5C coin in MS68 was sold for $57,500. Currently, only 27 Buffalo Nickles have been graded in MS68.

1935 5C MS68 Sold on Jan 3, 2007 for: $54,625.00

13. 1937 D Buffalo Nickel : 3 Legs $54,625

Year: 1937

Grade: MS66 

Price: $54,625

13. 1937 D Buffalo Nickel 3 Legs $54,625

 The 1937 D Buffalo Nickel is yet another valuable coin to have. There isn’t a specific number of these errors minted, however, it might just be laying in your basement. There are three variations of the 1937 Buffalo Nickel, but the “D” is the one to look out for.

The 1937 D 3 Legs Buffalo Nickel error is identified by looking at the legs of the buffalo on the reverse of the coin, which will have three separate legs. However, the front leg will be missing. In average condition, the 1937-D Buffalo Nickel could sell for $721. However, in mint condition, the coin could sell for as much as $2,813 or more.

1937-D 5C 3-Legged MS66 Sold on Jul 13, 2012 for: $54,625.00

14. 1915 S Buffalo Nickel $52,900

Year: 1915

Grade: PR69

Price:  $52,900

14. 1915 S Buffalo Nickel $52,900

USA Coin Book estimates that 1915 S Buffalo Nickels in average condition are worth $83 and see values rising from $721 to $1,134 in Uncirculated (MS+) Mint Condition. The 1915-S is a low-mintage issue that is scarce in circulated grades and quite expensive in low grades.

The 1915-S is a rare date in circulated condition, but only slightly more rare than its contemporaries in uncirculated and even Gem condition.

1915 5C PR69 Sold on May 1, 2003 for: $52,900.00

15. 1917 D Buffalo Nickel $10,925

Year: 1917

Grade: MS66 

Price: $10,925

15. 1917 D Buffalo Nickel $10,925

The 1917 D Buffalo Nickel is one of the most valuable Buffalo Nickels coins in US coin history. Of all the coins produced by the US Mint since its inception in 1792, few are as reminiscent as the Buffalo Nickel. Most early editions of the Buffalo Nickel are highly valued. In fact, research has it that it is almost impossible to find an old Buffalo Nickel in pristine condition.

The USA coin book estimates the 1917 D Buffalo Nickel to be $34 in average condition. The value goes higher in better conditions such as the Uncirculated Mint Condition which is worth $399 to $847. On the 27th of February, a 1917 D Buffalo Nickel was auctioned for $10,925. Making it one of the highest sold Buffalo Nickels of all time.

917-D 5C MS66 PCGS; Sold on Feb 27, 2003 for: $10,925.00

How Much Are Buffalo Nickels Worth

Wondering how much your Buffalo nickels are worth? Buffalo nickels were minted between 1913 and 1938. If you’re looking for information on how much buffalo nickels are worth, this page is the perfect resource for you. Here, you’ll learn the value of your coins and find out some interesting facts about them too.

Buffalo Nickels are of two major types;

  • Mound Type
  • Line Type

Indian Head Nickel – Mound Type (1913)  Value & Chart

Time 1913
Metal Composition 75% Copper – 25% Nickel
Mass/Weight 5 grams
Diameter 21.2mm
Estimated Average Value $16-$55

Indian Head Nickel - Mound Type (1913)  Value & Chart

Buffalo Nickel Mound Type

It is almost impossible to see the Mound Type Buffalo Nickel in top-notch condition. The only coin belonging to his type was minted in the year 1913, at Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco.

No.
Year
Mint Mark
Mintage
MS60
MS63
PR63
1
1913
 P
30,993,520
$51
$67
$1,318
2
1913
D
5,337,000
$83
$91
3
1913
S
2,105,000
$148
$204

Indian Head Nickel – Line Type (1913-1938) Value & Chart

Time  1913-1938
Metal Composition 75% Copper – 25% Nickel
Mass/Weight 5 grams
Diameter 21.2m
Estimated Average Value $1.71 – $4,507

Indian Head Nickel - Line Type (1913-1938) Value & Chart

Buffalo Nickel Line Type

After the mound type in 1913, then came the Line Type, this variation also started in 1913 and lasted until 1938.

No.
Year
Mint Mark
Mintage
MS60
MS63
1
1913
P
29,858,700
$45
$91
2
1913
D
4,156,000
$343
$454
3
1913
S
1,209,000
$1,028
$1,226
4
1914
P
20,665,738
$67
$94
5
1914
P
N/A
$3,163
$7,132
6
1914
D
3,912,000
$507
$607
7
1914
S
3,470,000
$227
$507
8
1915
P
20,987,270
$67
$102
9
1915
D
7,569,500
$298
$399
10
1915
S
1,505,000
$721
$1,134
11
1916
P
63,498,066
$55
$94
12
1916
P
N/A
$68,399
$159,442
13
1916
D
13,333,000
$198
$293
14
1916
S
11,860,000
$217
$314
15
1917
P
51,424,029
$67
$169
16
1917
D
9,910,800
$399
$847
17
1917
S
4,193,000
$507
$1,318
18
1918
P
32,086,314
$140
$371
19
1918
D
N/A
$38,819
$64,395
20
1918
D
8,362,314
$507
$1,181
21
1918
S
4,882,000
$657
$3,127
22
1919
P
60,868,000
$63
$140
23
1919
D
8,006,000
$658
$1,713
24
1919
S
7,521,000
$689
$1,981
25
1920
P
63,093,000
$74
$162
26
1920
D
9,418,000
$657
$1,593
27
1920
S
9,689,000
$631
$1,981
28
1921
P
10,663,000
$169
$357
29
1921
S
1,557,000
$1,812
$2,397
30
1923
P
35,715,000
$74
$177
31
1923
S
6,142,000
$658
$1,028
32
1924
P
21,620,000
$83
$177
33
1924
D
5,258,000
$435
$874
34
1924
S
1,437,000
$2,555
$4,175
35
1925
P
35,565,100
$48
$112
36
1925
D
4,450,000
$454
$847
37
1925
S
6,256,000
$533
$2,058
38
1926
P
44,693,000
$36
$83
39
1926
D
5,638,000
$399
$533
40
1926
S
970,000
$5,128
$10,502
41
1927
P
37,981,000
$39
$91
42
1927
D
5,730,000
$217
$352
43
1927
S
3,430,000
$608
$2,277
44
1928
P
23,411,000
$36
$91
45
1928
D
6,436,000
$67
$121
46
1928
S
6,936,000
$293
$608
47
1929
P
36,446,000
$45
$83
48
1929
D
8,370,000
$67
$148
49
1929
S
7,754,000
$63
$91
50
1930
P
22,849,000
$39
$83
51
1930
S
5,435,000
$74
$135
52
1931
S
1,200,000
$74
$112
53
1934
P
20,213,003
$55
$74
54
1934
D
7,480,000
$91
$140
55
1935
P
58,264,000
$24
$51
56
1935
P
N/A
$5,842
$7,125
57
1935
D
12,092,000
$83
$94
58
1935
S
10,300,000
$63
$79
59
1936
P
119,001,420
$24
$45
60
1936
D
24,814,000
$42
$51
61
1936
D
N/A
$17,055
$22,441
62
1936
S
14,930,000
$42
$51
63
1937
P
79,485,769
$24
$45
64
1937
D
17,826,000
$36
$48
65
1937
D
N/A
$2,813
$5,842
66
1937
S
5,635,000
$36
$48
67
1938
D
7,020,000
$24
$41
68
1938
D
N/A
$63
$91

Valuable Buffalo Nickels Errors

There are several types of valuable buffalo nickel errors. An error could occur from several factors combined. For example the mint could have misplaced a letter or number in the coin’s design or It can be an attribute not seen on other buffalo nickels of that date or it could simply be an error with the date itself. Here are key Buffalo Nickel Errors;

No.
Name
MS60
MS63
1
1914 Buffalo Nickels : 4 Over 3
$3,163
$7,132
2
1916 Buffalo Nickels : Doubled Die Obverse
$68,399
$159,442
3
1918 D Buffalo Nickels : 8 Over 7
$38,819
$64,395
4
1935 Buffalo Nickels : Doubled Die Reverse
$5,842
$7,125
5
1936 D Buffalo Nickels : 3 and Half Legs
$17,055
$22,441
6
1937 D Buffalo Nickels : 3 Legs
$2,813
$5,842
7
1938 D Buffalo Nickels : D on S
$63
$91

1914 Buffalo Nickels : 4 Over 3

1914 Buffalo Nickels 4 Over 3

This 1914 Indian Head Buffalo Nickel has a 4 stamped over a 3 in the date. One way to tell is to look for a small block that juts out from the left-hand side of the top line of the 3.

1916 Buffalo Nickels : Doubled Die Obverse

1916 Buffalo Nickels Doubled Die Obverse (2)

This is a very rare Indian Head Buffalo Nickel error coin. The most telling sign that it is an error is the doubled date of 1916.

1918 D Buffalo Nickels : 8 Over 7

1918 D Buffalo Nickels 8 Over 7

This 1918 D Indian Head / Buffalo Nickel is a valuable and rare date error. The Denver Mint stamped the 1918 date over the 1917 date. This is easy to identify as the 8 covers a very obvious 7.

1935 Buffalo Nickels : Doubled Die Reverse

1935 Buffalo Nickels Doubled Die Reverse

A doubled die error was found on one side of the 1935 Buffalo Nickel (The reverse). It’s easy to identify this coin by looking for the doubled phrase “Five Cents” on the bottom.

1936 D Buffalo Nickels : 3 and Half Legs

1936 D Buffalo Nickels 3 and Half Legs

The 3 1/2 Leg Buffalo Nickel error can be identified by examining the buffalo’s legs on the reverse side of the coin.

1937 D Buffalo Nickels : 3 Legs

1937 D Buffalo Nickels 3 Legs

The 1937 D 3 Legs Buffalo Nickel error is identified by looking at the legs of the buffalo on the reverse of the coin, which will have three separate legs. However, the front leg will be missing.

1938 D Buffalo Nickels : D on S

1938 D Buffalo Nickels D on S

The Denver Mint made a mistake in 1892 when it placed a D mintmark on top of an S mintmark, producing the popular but rare D/S error.

Last Words

Everybody loves that moment when they find an old coin like the Roosevelt Dimes or Silver Eagles while digging through their change. There is something more exciting about this than the usual, boring experience of seeing a shiny penny in the bowl at work. This is mostly because people want to know what it is worth, especially if it turns out to be valuable.

Regardless of the many valuable and rare coins out there, the value of one type of coin remains high in almost every condition — The Buffalo Nickel!

 

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