Buffalo Nickel Value Simplified

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Contributor, Benzinga
March 15, 2023

Do you own a few Buffalo Nickels but are not sure if they are worth anything? Unfortunately, there isn't one simple answer. The range of prices is quite large. Many are only worth a few dollars at best, but rare specimens can sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

The value of rare coins is subjective, but a few indicators demonstrated by your Buffalo Nickels could let you know if you have a valuable coin.

What Are Buffalo Nickels?

The Buffalo Nickel, also known as the Indian Head Nickel, is a five-cent coin that was issued by the United States Mint between 1913 and 1938. The coin was designed by American sculptor James Earl Fraser and features a profile of a Native American on the obverse and an American bison on the reverse.

The Buffalo Nickel was eventually replaced by the Jefferson Nickel in 1938. Buffalo Nickels have become highly collectible because of their rarity and historical significance. Its unique design and rich history make it a valuable piece of American numismatic heritage. The design has even become popular on commemorative coins and the gold American Buffalo coins.

How to Tell if Your Buffalo Nickels are Rare

The value of a Buffalo Nickel often depends largely on its rarity. A number of factors can affect a Buffalo Nickel's rarity, including the year it was minted, the condition of the coin and any errors or variations that may exist.

The first thing you should do when determining the rough value of your Buffalo Nickel is to look it over and take note of the condition of the coin (luster, presence of marks or damage to the coin), all mint markings and the date. Make sure to look for mint errors because coins with rare mint errors can be the most valuable collectible coins.

One of the rarest and most valuable Buffalo Nickels is the 8 Over 7 Buffalo Nickel from 1918, named for a date overstamp error. This just means that the mint stamped the 1918 date over an already stamped 1918. This is an extremely rare error, and these coins were only produced in the Denver mint.

If you want to sell your Buffalo Nickels, you may have to get their condition professionally graded. Coins in pristine condition can sell for 50 times more than others in poor condition. The condition affects Buffalo Nickels more than other coins. Uncirculated Buffalo Nickels are extraordinarily rare because most of them were circulated long before they could be picked up by collectors.

Check out Benzinga's guide on circulated vs. uncirculated coins to learn more about coin grading.

How Much are Buffalo Nickels Worth?

Now that you have given your Buffalo Nickels a good hard look, search for similar coins that have sold recently. Make sure you have a good idea of the condition of the coin first. Coins are graded in tiers of Mint State, About Uncirculated, Extremely Fine, Very Fine, Fine, Very Good, Good and About Good. Each tier has a specific definition, so they aren't too difficult to classify. For example, About Circulated means that the coin has traces of light wear on the high points of the coin's design.

While recent sales can be a decent indicator of what your coin might be worth roughly, it's far from perfect. It's not hard to overestimate the condition of your coin or misidentify mint marks as errors. If you want a more accurate estimate, you will likely have to see a professional coin grader.

Other Interesting Collectible Coins

Here are some of the most popular collectible coins that you might like.

American Buffalo Gold Coins


The American Buffalo coin is a popular bullion coin that uses the same designs as the Buffalo Nickel but is made out of gold. The coin was unveiled in 2006 and is made with 1 ounce of 24-karat gold. The U.S. mint also creates proof American Buffalo Gold coins, which are struck twice to make them look extremely new and clean.

You can find American Buffalo gold coins on a few different top precious metals platforms like Advantage Gold, Red Rock Secured, American Hartford Gold and Birch Gold Group.

Silver Mercury Dimes


Silver mercury dimes were minted in the United States from 1916 to 1945. They are called Mercury Dimes because the depiction of Liberty on the front of the coin wearing a Phrygian cap was confused with the Roman god Mercury.

These coins are composed of 90% silver and 10% copper. Mercury Dimes have become extremely popular collectible items because of their unique design and long history, just like Buffalo Nickels. You can buy Mercury Dimes with Red Rock Secured, a premier precious metals and coin dealer that supports direct delivery and precious metals IRAs.

American Gold Eagle Coins


American Gold Eagle Coins are bullion coins produced by the United States Mint, first introduced in 1986. These coins are made of 22-karat gold and come in various sizes ranging from 1/10 to 1 ounce. They are primarily used as an investment vehicle and are not intended for circulation, although they are legal tender with a face value that is significantly lower than their actual gold value.

Most precious metals dealers offer American Gold Eagle coins because they are so popular. Some of the best platforms that have American Gold Eagle coins are Advantage Gold, Red Rock Secured, American Hartford Gold, Augusta Precious Metals and Birch Gold Group.

Are Buffalo Nickels Worth Selling?

Buffalo Nickels may be worth selling, but likely only when they are quite rare. Most Buffalo Nickels are only worth a few dollars. Many consider them more of a collector's item than an investment or store of value. However, if you struck gold with an extremely rare Buffalo Nickel, you may be able to sell it for a pretty penny.ira

About Henry Stater

Henry is an expert in all things crypto. He stays up to date with all the latest coins, platforms and technologies in the field. He has particular expertise in the burgeoning decentralized finance ecosystem and loves trying out all the new platforms. He also always follows major events in other financial markets and geopolitics as a whole, especially when an event’s effects ripple through the crypto market.